These Start-Up Companies Are Looking To Take Down Big Tech

The companies that make up the world of Big Tech have some competition coming with the creation and rising popularity of new apps Parler and Triller.

As the push for fairness in Big Tech continues from President Donald Trump and others, companies such as Parler and Triller are looking to topple social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and TikTok from the top.

Parler was launched in 2018 as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook by University of Denver graduates John Matze and Jared Thomson. The point of the app? Free speech.

“There are going to be no fact checkers,” Matze told Forbes in an interview published in June. “You’re not going to be told what to think and what to say. A police officer isn’t going to arrest you if you say the wrong opinion. I think that’s all people want. That’s what they like.”

Parler reportedly has two million users compared to Twitter’s 330 million monthly active users and Facebook’s 2.6 billion monthly active users, according to Statista. The app is free and allows users to share posts containing 1,000 characters.

Triller was created in 2015 and is similar to TikTok, but not quite the same. Triller is marketed as a music-video creator and uses AI technology to edit users’ footage together. On Aug. 2, Triller was ranked as the number one app in all categories in the App store in 50 countries, according to a press release shared by the company.

The app has been downloaded over 250 million times and saw a 20x increase in downloads over the last week of July, the press release stated.

The increase in downloads comes as TikTok has come into President Trump’s focus over the past weeks. National security experts have warned TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, could be a risk to the U.S. due to its ties to China.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, CNN Business reported on Aug. 1. “Well, I have that authority.”

A spokesperson claimed U.S. users’ data is not stored in China and TikTok would resist any attempts by Beijing to obtain the data.

“TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access,” spokesperson Hilary McQuaide told CNN Business. “TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”

Most recently, Trump signed a pair of executive orders banning individuals from communicating with TikTok’s parent company for the next 45 days as of Aug. 6.

As previously reported, Trump’s executive orders bar “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” with ByteDance and Tencent Holdings, parent companies of TikTok and WeChat, respectively. The orders ban individuals from communicating with the parent companies for 45 days.

Before Trump set his sights on banning TikTok and the alleged national security threat, he was focused on the issues plaguing the other Big Tech companies including censorship and fairness.

The president signed an executive order in May to roll back Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which protects “interactive computer services” from being treated as a publisher of a third party after two of his tweets were fact-checked by Twitter.

“Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see,” the executive order stated.

“Immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints,” it continued.

Trump claimed Twitter has had “unchecked power” to censor and called the fact-checking “political activism.”

President Trump has also gone after Big Tech for reportedly committing antitrust violations. As previously reported, he threatened to sign executive orders that would “bring fairness” to Big Tech in July.

“If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders,” Trump tweeted before the Big Tech CEOs were set to testify in front of Congress. “In Washington, it has been ALL TALK and NO ACTION for years, and the people of our Country are sick and tired of it!”

Could all of this chaos help apps like Triller and Parler climb to the top?

COLUMN BY

LAURYN OVERHULTZ

Columnist. Follow Lauryn on Twitter

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Dozens Of Minneapolis Businesses Consider Leaving, Cite Possibility Of Police Being Dismantled

Dozens of Minneapolis businesses are considering leaving downtown, citing concerns about the possibility of the police department being dismantled, CBS Minnesota reported.

A survey by the Downtown Council shows 45 business owners say they are considering leaving downtown Minneapolis because of the lack of people working and socializing in the area and also the idea that the police department could be dismantled, CBS reported.

One of the surveyed businesses that is considering leaving employs 600 people, deepening fears that the city could take another major blow to employment, which was hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The Council did not divulge which businesses are considering leaving.

“This is by far the biggest challenge that I’ve ever had in my 20 years of owning businesses downtown,” Erik Forsberg, who owns multiple restaurants in downtown Minneapolis told CBS. Forsberg’s restaurants have been reportedly closed since the pandemic began and crime multiplied.

“We are seeing a lot of restaurants take a hit right now,” realtor Kris Lindahl says, adding that he expects restaurants to downsize and possibly share kitchens, according to CBS.

“We are seeing business owners wanting to eliminate the overhead, especially in a world where it looks like there’s going to be a more hybrid approach happening – and people are going to be  working from home – business owners and companies are looking to downsize,” he continued.

The president of the Downtown Council, Steve Cramer, has explained to council members that the mention of dismantling the Minneapolis police department has deterred business owners. He believes there will still be police, but they would have crisis support.

Efforts to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department began after the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.

The City Council has pushed to replace the police department with a “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention,” which has an approach that hasn’t been fully defined but would prioritize “a holistic, public health-oriented approach” that called for a division of licensed peace officers, allowing for some armed police officers.

However, a Minneapolis commission decided Wednesday that it would take more time to review the City Council amendment to dismantle the police department after concerns that the process was being rushed. “The council says ‘Trust us. We’ll figure it out after this is approved. Trust us.’ We’ll I don’t, and we shouldn’t,” Berry Clegg, chairman of the Charter Commission said according to CBS News.

The stalling of the amendment by the commission means the issue will not appear on ballots in November, since there will be no final decision by the deadline.

Violent crime in Minneapolis has surged to levels not seen in several years, as the number of police officers on the street is scaled back. Officers have reportedly also taken longer to respond to 911 calls, in part because of the shrinking size of the force, Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey said according to MPR News.

COLUMN BY

MARLO SAFI

Culture reporter.

RELATED TWEET:

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‘These Are Killers’: Rudy Giuliani Calls Black Lives Matter ‘Terrorist Group’

Man Pleads Guilty For Threatening To Burn Down Black Church In Virginia

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Pence: ‘The Choice We Face Is Whether America Remains America’

TAMPA—Vice President Mike Pence portrayed a stark contrast facing America during a visit Wednesday to the swing state of Florida.

“We stand at a crossroads of freedom,” Pence said. “Before us lie two paths: One based on the dignity and worth of every individual, and the other on the growing control of the state. One road leads to greater freedom and opportunity, and the other road leads to socialism and decline.”

He added, “The choice we face is whether America remains America.”

Pence’s words drew strong applause from the 250 supporters gathered in the hotel ballroom. It was Pence’s third and final stop in the Tampa area, where he was greeted with flag-waving and sign-toting supporters along the route of the motorcade. Pence also visited a women’s medical clinic and a Baptist church Wednesday.


How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>


Throughout the day, Pence touted the Trump administration’s pro-life achievements and commitment to religious freedom while offering a warning to supporters on what the future might hold.

Pence also spoke forcefully in defense of law enforcement and against efforts to defund police in America’s major cities.

“President Trump and I know that the men and women who put on the uniform of law enforcement every day are the best people in this country,” Pence said to applause. “With this president and this administration, we will always back the blue. We will always stand with the men and women on the Thin Blue Line of law enforcement. We’re not going to defund the police—not now, not ever.”

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that 36 of America’s 50 largest cities have experienced a double-digit rise in homicide rates. Two cities—Austin and Chicago—have seen homicide rates skyrocket more than 50% compared to last year.

“We don’t need to choose between supporting law enforcement and supporting our minority communities,” Pence said. “This president has done both every single day, and we will continue to deliver. We will support law enforcement, we will support our minority communities, with liberty and justice for all.”

The Daily Signal traveled with Pence aboard Air Force Two as a member of the press pool—a point of contention for some journalists in the White House press corps. The New York Times published a story Wednesday evening, “Member of Conservative Think Tank Takes On Reporter Duties on Air Force Two.”

Pence’s staff invited The Daily Signal after the White House Correspondents Association was unable to find a volunteer to travel with the vice president. NBC News, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway, and CBN News’ David Brody also accompanied Pence on the trip.

In an interview scheduled to air Thursday, Pence told CBN News about the importance of the Supreme Court. He also bluntly stated, “Chief Justice Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives.”

Pence cited Trump’s appointment of conservative jurists among the administration’s top accomplishments, adding other achievements that include protecting the sanctity of life and religious freedom, rebuilding the military, reviving the economy, cutting taxes, reducing red tape, enacting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and creating jobs.

“President Trump has kept the promises that he’s made to the American people, to the people of Florida, and especially to people of faith,” Pence said.

Pence’s early afternoon visit to a pregnancy center marked the first time a sitting vice president appeared at such a medical clinic, according to the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. Afterward, Pence spoke to the organization’s Life Wins! 2020 Tour at the nearby Starkey Road Baptist Church.

“Life is winning in America,” Pence said. “I believe life is winning because of the compassion and love that have been shown to women and children.”

Pence spoke about his meeting at the clinic with Kia Farrell and her son Ollie Farrell, who turns 1 next month. Farrell considered an abortion at Planned Parenthood before turned to A Woman’s Place.

Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan, who preceded Pence’s speech, cited the department’s Title X family planning services rule as an example of the Trump administration’s commitment to protecting the dignity of human life.

“There has never been a more pro-life and pro-family administration,” Hargan said.

Pence said the Declaration of Independence put life at the center of the American experiment. Yet, 47 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in Roe vs. Wade that fundamentally challenged the right to life. He warned that decades of pro-life progress could soon be erased.

“Now more than ever, pro-life Americans need to make our voice heard. … You need to speak out and become involved,” he said. “The radical left wants to silence pro-life Americans.”

Speaking later in the day at a “Faith in Freedom” rally in Clearwater, Pence said, “The foundation of America is freedom, but the foundation of freedom is faith.”

He added, “I’m more convinced than ever of two things: America is a freedom-loving nation, and this is a nation of faith.”

With cases of coronavirus still hampering Florida, Pence acknowledged the challenges facing America. He said the Trump administration was focused on helping all Americans.

“We’re opening up America again, and we’re opening up American schools again,” Pence said to applause. “I’ll make you a promise—as you in the Sunshine State and people all across the country continue to contend with this pandemic—we will not rest until Florida and America put this coronavirus in the past, and we bring Florida and America back bigger and better than ever before.”

COLUMN BY

Rob Bluey

Rob Bluey is executive editor of The Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. Send an email to Rob. Twitter: @RobertBluey.


A Note for our Readers:

Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…

For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.

Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.

Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW »


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEOS: Celebrities (Besides Joe Rogan) Who Said Goodbye to California

Joe Rogan is just the latest in a long list of celebrities to say goodbye to La La Land.


California dreaming? Nothing wrong with that. The Golden State has a lot to offer.

California has the fifth largest economy in the world. The San Francisco Bay Area alone has a GDP of $535 billion and ranks 19th in the world in economic activity. The state boasts one of the largest agricultural industries on the planet, producing more grapes, lemons, avocados, peaches, watermelons, and strawberries than any US state.

And let’s not forget movies. They contribute about $50 billion dollars annually to California’s economy—and nearly 2.5 million jobs.

Still, California has its downsides. It has the highest poverty rate in the US. It’s among the most heavily taxed states—the top income tax bracket is 13.3 percent—and is America’s most regulated state, according to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Its biggest cities suffer from housing shortages, mass homelessness, and congestion.

And then there’s the whole, er, poop crisis thing.

So while California has a lot to offer, its demographics are beginning to head in the wrong direction. Last year, the state’s population growth hit a historic low. There’s talk of a middle class exodus and the death of Hollywood.

In recent years, there’s even a growing number of celebrities saying goodbye to Golden State, including a big name recently. There’s nothing wrong with people “voting with their feet” to establish residence in freedom-friendly states; it’s one of the beauties of the American system. It does show, however, that high taxes and regulations can result in wealth emigration that drives out a lot of capital that supports local jobs and businesses.

Here’s a list of just a few stars who’ve headed for greener (or at least, not quite so “fertilized”) pastures in recent years.

Fresh off of signing a $100 million deal with Spotify in May, comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan made headlines in July by announcing he and his family were moving to Texas.

Rogan has lived in California more than 25 years. He moved to Los Angeles in 1994 and shortly thereafter began appearing TV shows like News Radio. As recently as 2018 he purchased a new home in Bell Canyon for nearly $5 million. That didn’t stop him from leaving though, and he offered some telling reasons.

“I just want to go somewhere in the center of the country … somewhere where you have a little more freedom,” said Rogan. “When you look at the economic despair, when you look at the homelessness problem that has accelerated radically over the last six, seven, ten years … I think there’s too many people here. I think it’s not tenable.”

To be clear, California’s problems do not stem from its high number of people. Humans are one of the greatest resources on the planet. California’s problems stem more from a political and regulatory system that has stifled growth, accumulated massive debts, and suffers from a bureaucratic climate that renders many cities dysfunctional and virtually unlivable.

But whatever his reasons, it’s clear the move will save Rogan gobs of cash. Texas has zero state income taxes compared to California’s top bracket of 13.3 percent. Apply that rate to $100 million and … well, do the math.

In the fall of 2019, rumors began swirling that Kanye West and wife Kim Kardashian were giving up on California after it was reported that the rapper had purchased a $14 million “monster ranch” in Cody, Wyoming.

The rumors amplified when the couple announced they had closed on another ranch property near Cody—this one 6,713 acres and valued at $14.5 million—and were touring local schools for their children.

The purchases stemmed from West’s desire to move his billion-dollar apparel empire Yeezy to Wyoming, the headquarters of which had already been moved to Cody from Calabasas, California.

During a 2019 interview (26:30 mark in video below), Kanye hinted that he found the Golden State’s regulatory structure stifling and irritating, noting that regulators told him his Star Wars-inspired domes for the homeless violated government codes.

“One of the domes was 10 feet too high,” said West, speaking at the 2019 Fast Company Innovation Festival. “They came and said, ‘You got to take it down.’”

It’s hard to blame an innovator like West for being irritated by red tape. But it probably wasn’t his only reason for leaving.

“Kimye” stand to save a bundle if they live more than 183 days a year in Wyoming. Reports estimate the West paid some $15 million in state income taxes in 2018 alone.

The Cowboy State, on the other hand, has zero state income taxes.

Chris Hemsworth is today one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, even though he no longer lives there. In 2015, the same year Avengers: Age of Ultron was released, the Australian-born actor announced he was moving back Down Under with his family, since he no longer had to be in Hollywood to land movie roles.

‘We were in LA for six or seven years and then once we got the opportunity not to be there full-time, it was good to get back to Australia,” said Hemsworth. “And it’s great. Quiet, coastal town – [it] couldn’t be further from Hollywood, which is nice.”

Quiet. Coastal. And far from Hollywood. The perfect place for Thor Odinson to retire after his battles with Thanos.

Matthew McConaughey took home an Oscar in 2014 for his role as Ron Woodroof in the 2013 biographical drama The Dallas Buyers Club, but by that time the Dazed and Confused actor had already sold most if not all of his homes in the Hollywood Hills.

McConaughey and wife Camila Alves, married in 2012, have lived in Austin, Texas for years with their three children. McConaughey, who was born in Texas, in 2015 joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin where he works as an instructor in the department of radio, television and film at the Moody College of Communication.

Rumor has it McConaughey is even considering a run for governor of the Lone Star State in 2022. We don’t know McConaughey’s politics—he keeps his views famously close to the vest—but based on some of his comments following the 2016 election, odds are he’ll have a better chance in Texas than California.

One of Hollywood’s most famous power couples, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively don’t actually live in Hollywood. Though Reynolds and his first wife Scarlet Johannson were California residents—Reynolds filed for divorse in Los Angeles in 2010—the Green Lantern stars (sorry to bring that one up) decided Hollywood wasn’t where they wanted to raise their family.

In 2012, the same year the couple married, Lively and Reynolds purchased a $5.7 million home near Bedford, New York. Nestled on 11.65 acres, the colonial-style mansion reportedly is 8,000 square feet and has seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. The property even comes with a barn.

Taxes in New York aren’t much better than California, but the couple seems to have found a beautiful place to raise their three children. Reports say they have made quite an impression on the community.

“[L]ocals describe them as extremely nice and well-liked,” E! News reported. “They have a bit of a routine around town that can only be described as, well, idyllic.”

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban didn’t exactly leave California. They still keep a home there, a $4.7 million mansion in Beverly Hills purchased in 2008. But the couple, married in 2006, seems to collect homes the way other people collect stamps.

There are the two homes in Australia: a $6.5 million farm in Bunya Hill and a penthouse in Sydney.

There’s the mansion in Nashville the couple purchased for $3.4 million in 2008.

And let’s not forget the $10 million Manhattan condo the Days of Thunder and country music start purchased in 2010.

Despite their many dwellings, the couple has called Nashville, Tennessee their home for years. And that’s a smart move financially speaking. The Volunteer State has a zero percent income tax rate, which went a long way toward allowing the couple to accrue an aggregate net worth estimated at $325 million.

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times. He previously served in editorial roles at The History Channel magazine, Intellectual Takeout, and Scout. He is an alumni of the Institute for Humane Studies journalism program, a former reporter for the Panama City News Herald, and served as an intern in the speechwriting department of George W. Bush.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: America’s Post-COVID Prosperity!

GUESTS AND TOPICS:

TRENT ENGLAND
Trent England is executive director of Save Our States. He has previously served as executive vice president for both the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and the Freedom Foundation, and was a legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation. Trent was a Publius Fellow of the Claremont Institute. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor OF The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest.

TOPIC: Breaking Faith With the Electoral College.

GEORGE PARRY

George Parry Contributor to The American Spectator, The Federalist, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. George is a former federal and state prosecutor. George served as: Special Attorney for the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, U.S. Department of Justice ; nit Chief, Investigations Division, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office ; Special Organized Crime Prosecutor, Blair and Cambria counties (central Pennsylvania) ; Legal Analyst, KYW-TV ; in Philadelphia.

TOPIC: Social Media Whack-A-Mole With America’s Frontline Doctors.

SEAN FLANAGAN

Shaun Flanagan is the Director of the Centre for Metrics at the Legatum Institute in London. Shaun spent 20 years working in the UK Government Statistical Service, gathering data and producing analysis for Government Ministers and officials to inform and monitor Government policy in a number of departments. In 2012 he left the Civil Service to be the Head of Statistics at The Association of British Insurers, where he ran a team producing a large volume of data outputs on the UK insurance industry.

TOPIC: America’s Post-COVID Prosperity!

Ratings CRASH for NBA, MLB After Pathetic Protest-Filled Debuts

Good. Let these self righteous and self-aggrandizing idiots learn that insulting more than half of your customers is bad for business. The NFL will surely suffer the same fate this fall. You may want to re-think your policy of appeasing the anti-America Left, Roger Goodell. You still have time.

Ratings Crash for NBA, MLB After Protest-Filled Debuts

By Breitbart, August 2, 2020

As the NBA and MLB return from their coronavirus-imposed hiatus, it appears TV viewers are not interested in what the increasingly woke leagues have to offer.

With both baseball and basketball draped in all sorts of Black Lives Matter and social justice symbolism for their opening games, a substantially smaller number of fans tuned-in to the rest of the week’s games.

According to Outkick.com, neither league did well.

As for the opening games, Outkick reported that the return of the NBA on TNT saw the following numbers:

Lakers-Clippers: 3.4 million
Pelicans-Jazz: 2.1 million

ESPN’s MLB return numbers were also underwhelming:

Yankees-Nationals: 4.0 million
Dodgers-Giants: 2.8 million

Outkick’s Ryan Glasspiegel added more ratings numbers on Twitter.

“To be fair since I compared MLB vs NBA return night 1, here is night 2,” (July 24) he wrote, adding:

MLB (last Friday, ESPN)
Mets-Braves (4p) – 922K
Brewers-Cubs(7p) – 1.0M
Angels-As (10p) – 797K

NBA (last night ESPN) (July 31)
Celtics-Bucks (6:30p) – 1.3M
Mavs-Rockets (9p)- 1.7M

The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss also noted that the numbers continued to fall off for MLB:

For good measure, Strauss also pointed out that baseball can’t blame the coronavirus. The virus didn’t stop people from watching Tom Brady golf with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson back in May.

Indeed, the charity golf match earned record TV ratings in May.

Dubbed “The Match II,” the game featuring Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning, and Tiger Woods peaked at an amazing 6.3 million viewers and raised more than $20 million for charity.

Here is Why the Media WILL NOT STOP Terrorizing and Misinforming America about Coronavirus

Look at the numbers. COVID resurrected failed media outlets. The numbers are unprecedented. People who never watch news were forced to tune in every day – and tune in they day.Previous non-watchers turned to notoriously left wing news outlets unware how utterly corrupt and compromised they are. It’s take a couple of months but people are waking up to the malevolent motives of media.

The end of COVID would end the legacy media’s grip on the narrative. So don’t expect an end any time soon no matter if the fatality rates have never been lower.

Weaponizing COVID against Trump in concert with this new business model is but the latest leftist malignity we have to defeat. How? Truth.

As TV Audiences Turn To News Networks In Droves, A Dive Into Viewer Behavior In The First Half Of 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America

By: Forbes, August 1, 2020:

Although ranking third in ratings among cable news networks, CNN continues to be a destination …

It comes as no surprise that television newscasts have become a programming destination and a source of information for tens of millions of Americans this year.

As you may remember, the year began with political news, including several presidential debates among Democratic candidates vying for the nomination; at the same time, there was the impeachment trial of President Trump in the U.S. Senate, only the third in U.S. history. In mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic began to spread and the stock market plummeted as millions of workers were either furloughed or lost their jobs, setting unemployment records. Near the end of May, the police killing of George Floyd triggered a wave of protests.

Hence, it came as no surprise that in the second quarter of 2020, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN were the three highest-rated cable networks in both prime time and total day. In fact, in the second quarter, all three cable networks had their highest-rated quarter ever.

To provide further insights into when and where viewers tuned to television news, VideoAmp, an ad tech company, analyzed TV viewership using Audience Content Recognition (ACR) data from a panel of 9 million smart TV devices across every market in the U.S.

For the analysis, VideoAmp divided the first 23 weeks of the year into five date ranges based on the news events. VideoAmp then measured the week-to-week changes in TV newscasts, using the entire 23 weeks as a baseline average. The five date ranges were:

  • Pre-Quarantine: January 6-March 8 (9 weeks)
  • Early Quarantine: March 9-April 12 (5 weeks)
  • Mid Quarantine: April 13-May 3 (3 weeks)
  • Late Quarantine: May 4-May 24 (3 weeks)
  • Protests: May 25-June 14 (3 weeks)

In the nine-week, pre-quarantine range, which lasted until early March, total linear TV ratings (cable and broadcast) started out strong with the first two weeks (January 6 and January 13) generating above the baseline average by 5% and 1%, respectively. For the remaining seven weeks of the pre-quarantine period however, tuning to linear TV fell below average.

In the early pandemic period, as shelter-in-place took effect, linear TV tuning was at its highest. It was during this time that live sporting events, movie theaters and retail outlets were all shut down and quarantined viewers tuned to news networks and other news content, seeking the latest information about the coronavirus from scientists and government officials. Linear TV ratings peaked during the weeks of March 16 (+10% above average), March 23 (+10%) and March 30 (+9%). Above average ratings continued for the following three weeks at 7%-8% above average.

According to VideoAmp’s analysis, linear TV viewing began to drop starting the week of April 27 (0%). Flat ratings continued throughout the three-week late quarantine period, caused by a combination of viewer fatigue, warmer weather and some states gradually reopening for business. The ratings decline though was temporary.

Viewing surged again with the death of George Floyd on May 25, which ushered in a wave of protests across the U.S. and around the world. With news outlets providing wall-to-wall coverage of protests, overall ratings surged to 6% above average during the week of May 25. The ratings surge however, was not as enduring as the pandemic. By the week of June 8, ratings had dropped to 6% below the 23-week baseline average.

The analysis also found that all three major 24-hour news networks had a spike in ratings. CNN had benefited the most, with the highest increase in audience once the pandemic hit. Although CNN typically ranks third in ratings behind rival news channels, the 40-year-old cable network has for years been a destination channel for casual and light news viewers during heightened and late breaking news events. During the pandemic, CNN’s audience more than doubled.

Digging Deeper into Audiences

VideoAmp also segmented households into terciles based on time spent. Segments were created for light, medium and heavy news viewers, with baseline averages established for each group. Light news viewers averaged 33 minutes per week, medium news viewers averaged 163 minutes per week, and heavy news viewers averaged 700 minutes per week. As news fatigue did occur, households took a respite and also tuned to other cable networks during the three-week protest period. When compared to the nine-week pre-quarantine period, heavy news viewers also watched lower-rated niche cable networks, such as Great American Country (+100%), Country Music Television (+61%), WGN America (+48%) Destination America (+40%) and DIY Network (+38%). Among news networks only CNN (+48%) and CNBC (+10%) had a sizable increase.

During the same three-week period, light news viewers were, not surprisingly, most likely to watch news networks, with CNN (+419%), MSNBC (+283%), Fox News (+255%) and Fox Business (+155%) being the four biggest beneficiaries.

Light news viewers also tuned to many of the same niche cable networks that heavy news watched: Great American Country (+99%), WGN America (+46%), DIY Network (+41%), Destination America (+38%) and CMT (+32%).

During the three-week protest period, VideoAmp also looked at heavy and light news viewing by programming genre and compared it to pre-pandemic viewing. When not watching newscasts, heavy news viewers watched more game shows (+39%), how-to programs (+26%), interviews (+23%), variety shows (+18%) and science programs (+14%). The most popular programming genres for light news viewers were somewhat different, led by politics (+222%), news (+86%), game shows (+45%), talk shows (+31%) and variety shows (+27%).

Josh Chasin, chief measurability officer at VideoAmp, explains, “While there is a cohort of Americans who spend a lot of time — on average, almost 2 hours a day — with news programming, during times of national crisis, even light news viewers flock to the 24-hour news channels for the latest information. During the recent period of protest and civil unrest, light news viewers’ time spent with CNN increased over fivefold, with MSNBC and Fox News almost fourfold. Clearly, linear TV in general, and cable news in particular, remains a vital source of information for the American public when major and ongoing news breaks.”

In all probability, in the second half of 2020, news channels will continue to be a source for millions of viewers. The pandemic continues to receive widespread coverage. In addition, there will be a contentious election, which means rallies, virtual rallies, three presidential debates, one vice presidential debate, two conventions, perhaps a few “October surprises,” followed by election day and its aftermath. Millions of viewers will stay tuned.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Nearly Half Of Young Americans Say It’s Okay To Fire People Who Support Trump (Sounds Like Hitler Youth)

The left succeeded in the long march through the institutions, a term coined by Communist student activist Rudi Dutschke (inspired by Italian communist Antonio Gramsci) to describe the strategy for establishing the conditions for revolution: subverting society by infiltrating institutions such as the academia, media, entertainment et al.

“A republic, if you can keep it.”

Discarded like an old pair of shoes.

This surely sounds like Hitler-Jugend.

Nearly Half Of Young Americans Say It’s Okay To Fire People Who Support Trump

By Glenn T. Stanton, The Federalist, July 31, 2020

The Cato Institute just released a new report showing that 62 percent of Americans are inclined to self-censor what they say politically “because others might find them offensive.” Even moderate leftists report they feel increased fear of offending the offendable, while only the most “staunch liberals,” as Cato described them, feel free to speak their minds. The “very conservative” have been pushed deepest in the closet: they are most likely to refrain from saying what they think politically, at nearly twice the rate of the “very liberal.”

Buried deeper in the report, however, is a stunning data point that might be one of the most troubling current cultural indicators. Forty-four percent of Americans younger than age 30 believe a company is correct in firing an executive because he or she personally donated to President Trump’s reelection campaign.

The companion finding was also disturbing. Twenty-seven percent of people under 30 said they were fine with an executive being fired because he or she donated to the Joe Biden campaign. The means that of Americans under 30 years old, 73 percent think it would be wrong to fire an executive from a company for donating to the Biden campaign, while only 56 percent believe it would be wrong to do so for a Trump donation.

While this problem is most pronounced among those under 30, it isn’t exclusive to young people. Across all age ranges, 78 percent said it would be wrong to fire an executive for making a personal donation to Biden, while only 69 percent believe it’s wrong to fire one simply for being a Trump donor.

This means a remarkably high number of fellow citizens believe it’s virtuous to punish you for your personal political beliefs, even if you express them merely through one private political donation, with the loss of your family’s livelihood.

People throw the word “fascist” around today much too carelessly for it to be useful. If that word can be applied to an everyday person, however, someone who believes you should lose your job based on who you vote for is a pretty sturdy working definition. Of course, this has less to do with the names of the 2020 candidates and more to do with how an alarming number of Americans today seem to know precious little about what it means to live in a representative democracy.

This brings us to the second most disturbing revelation of this report: the declining cognitive and logical rigor of today’s youth. Would these findings have been any different if the question had been, “Would you support firing a business executive solely for holding political beliefs you disagree with?”

There is only one right answer among decent people. “Yes” and “It depends” are unacceptable. But a disturbingly high number of Americans think such a firing would be perfectly fine when triggered by specific politicians’ names.

To consider just how troubling this turn is, let’s improve the polling question to see if it sounds any better: “Would you support an employer, without any threat of job loss, trying to reason with and persuade by way of facts and data why executives should vote for one candidate over another?” It’s scary to think what the polling numbers for this might be.

It was not all that long ago that the liberal clarion value was the misattributed Voltairean principle, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today that seems to have been replaced with the brutally authoritarian, “I disagree with what you believe, and I will make sure you lose your livelihood because I went digging and found out you made a private campaign contribution to someone I think is evil.”

If, God forbid, the autopsy of the American experiment is ever written, this growing expectation that political submission be a condition of one’s employment will certainly be noted as a significant stage in its demise. It demonstrates that the world’s most hopeful self-government is moving in a very bad direction, and that should profoundly bother us all.

VIDEO: President Trump’s remarks on ending America’s overreliance on foreign supply chains

President Trump is taking further action under the Defense Production Act to end America’s overreliance on foreign supply chains.

WATCH: President Trump’s remarks begin at the 52:00 mark:

The Administration has used the Defense Production Act more than 30 times to date, helping to secure critical supplies of ventilators, personal protective equipment, testing supplies, pharmaceutical products, and more during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the Administration is providing a $765 million loan to Kodak to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals, which will boost America’s domestic production of much-needed drugs. Once fully operational, Kodak Pharmaceuticals will manufacture up to 25 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients for certain generic medicines.

“This is not about China or India or any one country,” White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro says. “It’s about America losing its pharmaceutical supply chains to the sweat shops, pollution havens, and tax havens around the world that cheat America out of its pharmaceutical independence.”

READ MORE: Kodak Shifts Into Drug Production With Help of U.S. Loan


Several Coronavirus vaccines reach late-stage trials

Operation Warp Speed, one of President Trump’s most important responses to the Coronavirus, is a historic partnership between the federal government, scientific community, and private sector to develop a safe COVID-19 vaccine in record time. Its goal is to produce 300 million doses of vaccine and have initial doses ready by January.

The once-in-a-generation effort is already achieving incredible results.

Clinical trials are showing promising early data, and manufacturing is already ramping up in preparation. Several vaccine candidates, including ones from AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer, are either in or about to begin late-stage trials.

Yesterday, President Trump toured a Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in North Carolina, where he gave reporters an update about progress toward a vaccine.

“Not only is Operation Warp Speed accelerating the development of a vaccine—we’re also directing a colossal industrial mobilization to ensure its rapid delivery,” he said. “Nothing has happened like this since the end of World War II.”

Rather than rely on government command-and-control schemes to fight the Coronavirus, the Trump Administration is marshalling America’s scientific genius across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The FDA has authorized more than 185 tests under emergency authorities, including at least 30 antibody tests.

As a result of all these efforts, a number of promising therapies for the Coronavirus, such as Remdesivir, have been identified and are already in use.

“The United States has now conducted more than 51 million tests”

LEARN MORE: A once-in-a-generation effort to develop a vaccine

©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP!

GUESTS AND TOPICS:

JASON SNEAD

Jason Snead is the executive director of the Honest Elections Project. Prior to heading the project, Jason spent 10 years at The Heritage Foundation, where he had the honor to work for former Attorney General Ed Meese. During his tenure at Heritage, Jason rose to become a senior policy analyst and a recognized expert on a wide range of subjects. He regularly studied, wrote, and spoke on topics ranging from criminal justice and civil asset forfeiture reform, to technology policy and the regulation of drones in American skies, to preserving the integrity of American elections. Jason also managed the development of the Heritage Election Fraud Database, a unique tool aggregating proven instances of voter fraud from around the nation.

TOPIC: New Jersey’s All-Mail Vote Debacle Is a Warning for November

DR. RICH SWIER

Dr. Rich Swier is a “conservative with a conscience.” Rich is a 23-year Army veteran who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his years of service. Additionally, he was awarded two Bronze Stars with “V” for Heroism in ground combat, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry while serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. Dr Rich now publishes the the “drrichswier.com report”. A daily review of news, issues and commentary.

TOPIC: SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP!

RACHEL ALEXANDER

Rachel Alexander is a political columnist and the founder and editor of Intellectual Conservative. She is a regular contributor to Townhall, the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and The Christian Post . She frequently appears on TV and news radio as a conservative commentator, and hosted a radio show on 960 KKNT in Phoenix. She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona, corporate attorney for Go Daddy Software. Rachel was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists and is a recipient of Americans for Prosperity’s RightOnline Activist of the Year award.

TOPIC: Polls Survey More Dems and Unlikely Voters

©All rights reserved.

De Blasio Quotes Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto in Discussion on Relationship with NYC Business Community

No pretense anymore. None. The Mayor of the capital of capitalism is imposing governance based on the most brutal, anti-human ideology in human history.

The Communists’ chief purpose is to destroy every form of independence—independent work, independent action, independent property, independent thought, an independent mind, or an independent man. Conformity, alikeness, servility, submission and obedience are necessary to establish a Communist slave-state. Ayn Rand

[…]

It is the Communists’ intention to make people think that personal success is somehow achieved at the expense of others and that every successful man has hurt somebody by becoming successful. It is the Communists’ aim to discourage all personal effort and to drive men into a hopeless, dispirited, gray herd of robots who have lost all personal ambition, who are easy to rule, willing to obey and willing to exist in selfless servitude to the State. Ayn Rand

Who will he quote next? Hitler?

De Blasio Quotes Marx’s Communist Manifesto in Discussion on Relationship with NYC Business Community

By: Zachary Evans,National Review, July 24, 2020

New York mayor Bill de Blasio quoted Karl Marx when outlining the relationship he wanted his office to have with the city’s business community, in an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.

Host Brian Lehrer asked de Blasio how the mayor was approaching businesses for help with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Lehrer said that the mayor was not known for extensive outreach to the business community given his focus on issues of wealth inequality.

“There’s an underlying truth in the fact that my focus has not been on the business community and the elite,” de Blasio said. “I am tempted to borrow a quote from Karl Marx here…”

“They’ll love that on Wall Street,” Lehrer interjects.

“Yes they will,” de Blasio laughs. “There’s a famous quote that ‘the state is the executive committee of the bourgeoisie,’ and I use that openly to say no, I read that as a young person and thought, well, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.”

The quote comes from the first chapter of Marx’s Communist Manifesto, in which Marx outlines his theory of the progressive advancement of the class of the bourgeoisie at the expense of the proletariat.

The mayor continued in the interview, “We need to work with the business community, we will work with the business community, but the city government represents the people, represents working people….A lot of folks have just sort of hit a wall when I say guys, you’re gonna have to pay more taxes, and we’re gonna have policies that favor working people more.”

De Blasio ended by saying he knows that many businesses want to help with a “comeback” for the city, and that his administration “really appreciate[s] that.”

The interview was not the first time de Blasio has quoted a communist figure. In 2019, the mayor apologized after quoting communist revolutionary Che Guevara at a rally of striking airport workers in Miami.

“I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter after backlash from Miami’s Latino community, many of whom are Cuban exiles.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Four Months of Unprecedented Government Malfeasance

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered on June 18, 2020, for a Hillsdale College online symposium, “The Coronavirus and Public Policy.”


Over the last four months, Americans have lived through what is arguably the most consequential period of government malfeasance in U.S. history. Public officials’ overreaction to the novel coronavirus put American cities into a coma; those same officials’ passivity in the face of widespread rioting threatens to deliver the coup de grâce. Together, these back-to-back governmental failures will transform the American polity and cripple urban life for decades.

Before store windows started shattering in the name of racial justice, urban existence was already on life support, thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns. Small businesses—the restaurants and shops that are the lifeblood of cities—were shuttered, many for good, leaving desolate rows of “For Rent” signs on street after street in New York City and elsewhere. Americans huddled in their homes for months on end, believing that if they went outside, death awaited them.

This panic was occasioned by epidemiological models predicting wildly unlikely fatalities from the coronavirus.

On March 30, the infamous Imperial College London model predicted 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. by September 1, absent government action. That prediction was absurd on its face, given the dispersal of the U.S. population and the fact that China’s coronavirus death toll had already levelled off at a few thousand. The authors of that study soon revised it radically downwards.

Too late. It had already become the basis for the exercise of unprecedented government power. California was the first state to lock down its economy and confine its citizens to their homes; eventually almost every other state would follow suit, under enormous media pressure to do so.

Never before had public officials required millions of lawful businesses to shut their doors, throwing tens of millions of people out of work. They did so at the command of one particular group of experts—those in the medical and public health fields—who viewed their mandate as eliminating one particular health risk with every means put at their disposal.

If the politicians who followed their advice weighed a greater set of considerations, balancing the potential harm from the virus against the harm from the shutdowns, they showed no sign of it. Instead, governors and mayors started rolling out one emergency decree after another to terminate economic activity, seemingly heedless of the consequences.

The lockdown mandates employed mind-numbingly arbitrary distinctions. Wine stores and pot dispensaries were deemed “essential” and thus allowed to stay open; medical offices were required to close. Large grocery stores got the green light; small retail establishments with only a few customers each day were out of luck. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer notoriously used her red pen within megastores to bar the sale of seeds, gardening supplies, and paint.

It was already clear when these crushing mandates started pouring forth that shutting down every corner of the country was a reckless overreaction. By mid-March, two weeks before the Imperial College model was published, Italian health data showed that the coronavirus was terribly lethal to a very small subset of the population—the elderly infirm—and a minor health problem to nearly everyone else who was not already severely ill. The median age of coronavirus decedents in Italy was 80, and they died with a median of nearly three comorbidities, such as heart disease and diabetes. The lead author of the Imperial College model has admitted that up to two-thirds of all coronavirus fatalities would have died from their comorbidities by the end of 2020 anyway.

Three months later, this profile of coronavirus casualties still holds true. Public health interventions could have been targeted at that highly vulnerable population without forcing the American economy into a death spiral.

DISINFORMATION

By now it is impossible to attribute the media’s failure to publicize the facts about the coronavirus to mere oversight.

Every story that does not mention, preferably at the top, the vast overrepresentation of nursing home deaths in the coronavirus death count—above 50 percent in many countries and 80 percent in several of our states—is a story that is deliberately concealing the truth. Casual readers and viewers have been left with the false impression that everyone is equally at risk, and thus that draconian measures are justified.

The media have been equally uninterested in the scientific evidence regarding outdoor transmission. Coronavirus infections require what Japan calls the three Cs: confined spaces, crowded places, and close contact. The fleeting encounters on sidewalks and public parks that characterize much of city life simply do not result in transmission. And yet if you briskly approach someone on one of Manhattan’s broad and now empty sidewalks, the oncoming pedestrian may lunge into the street or press up against the closest wall in abject fear if you are not wearing a mask. You may be cursed at.

The public health establishment has been equally complicitous in creating this widespread ignorance. It has failed to stress at every opportunity that for the vast majority of the public, the coronavirus is at most an inconvenience. The public health experts did not disclose that outdoors was the safest place to be and that people should get out of their homes and into the fresh air.

Not coincidentally, the experts’ newfound power over nearly every aspect of American life was dependent on the maintenance of fear.

While the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has been demographically circumscribed and lower than the previous flu pandemics of 1968, 1956, and 1918 when adjusted for population, the economic toll has cut across every sector of the country and every population group. Whole industries have seen their capital wiped out overnight.

Despite a better than expected employment report in early June, the long-term effects of the shutdowns and the continuing mandates to socially distance will prevent a full economic recovery for years to come. Forty-four million Americans are still out of work. Supply chains have been thrown into chaos. Fresh fruits and vegetables are being plowed under and livestock burned uneaten for lack of access to processing plants and markets. Small businessmen who have put their life savings into creating a service that customers want have seen their hard work go up in smoke. Without rent from their retail tenants, commercial landlords can’t pay their taxes. City budgets have been decimated. The additional $8 trillion in public debt taken on to try to substitute for the private economy will depress opportunity for generations.

And what has been the response to this economic carnage on the part of our ruling class? Branding strategies! Politicians have put cute names on what has been a taking of private property on an unprecedented scale. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calls the state lockdowns “New York on Pause,” as if commerce can be indefinitely suspended and then magically resuscitated with the flick of a switch.

The politicians’ ignorance about the complexity of economic life was stunning, as was their hypocrisy. To a person, every elected official, every public health expert, and every media pundit who lectured Americans about the need to stay in indefinite lockdown had a secure (“essential”) job. Not one of them feared his employer would go bankrupt. Anyone who warned that the effects of the lockdowns would be more devastating than anything the coronavirus could inflict was accused of being a heartless capitalist who only cared about profits.

But to care about the economy is to care about human life, since the economy is how life is sustained. It is a source of meaning, as well as sustenance, binding humans to each other in a web of voluntary exchange. To its workers, every business is essential, and to many of its customers as well. Even judged by the narrowest possible definition of public health—lives lost—the toll from the lockdowns will exceed that of the virus, due to the cancellation of elective medical procedures, patients’ unnecessary fear of seeking medical treatment, and the psychological effects of unemployment.

In May, politicians started inviting a few scattered sectors of their state economies to reopen, with blue state governors and mayors being particularly parsimonious with their noblesse oblige. These blue state officials invoked “science” to justify yet another arbitrary set of guidelines to determine which businesses would be allowed to start up again and when. “Science,” we were told, dictated the timetable for reopening, based on rates of hospital bed vacancies and new infections.

In fact, the numerical benchmarks, enforced with draconian punctiliousness, seem to have been drawn out of a hat—they certainly had no evidence behind them. But even with official reopenings, many customers will be long reluctant to resume their normal habits of consumption and travel thanks to the uninterrupted fearmongering on the part of the media, the experts, and elected leaders.

Being fantastically risk averse is now a badge of honor, at least among the professional elites. A young tech columnist for The New York Times wrote an op-ed in May about cancelling a restaurant reservation in Missoula, Montana. Missoula County had been virus-free for weeks, and Montana’s case load had been negligible. Nevertheless, the columnist experienced a panic attack after booking a table, contemplating the allegedly lethal risk that awaited him in the reopened restaurant. Rather than being ashamed of his cowardice, the columnist was proud, he wrote, to have bailed out of his reservation in order to continue sheltering in place.

The absurd social distancing protocols make operating many businesses and much of city life virtually impossible. The six-foot rule is as arbitrary as the “metrics” for reopening. (The World Health Organization recommends three feet of social distance, and many countries have adopted that recommendation.) Keeping customers and employees six feet apart will render a city’s basic institutions unworkable, from restaurants to concert halls. The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled the first half of its 2020-2021 season while it figures out how to maintain social distancing among audience members and on the stage. Every other performing arts organization will face the same almost insuperable dilemma.

My 34-story apartment building in Manhattan, like many others, has imposed a one person per elevator ride rule, even though the elevator interiors are more than six feet across. I invite anyone who may also be waiting for an elevator to share my ride up; no one has ever accepted the offer, even though both I and my invitee are masked. Nor has anyone ever extended such an offer to me. Now translate this hysteria to Manhattan’s massive office towers. If New York City ever fully reopens, a similar social distancing rule for office elevators will lead to lines of workers around every midtown block each morning. As long as this fear lasts, city life is not possible.

FROM COLD WAR TO HOT

Then the cities started burning. What had been a cold war on the economy and civic life became a hot war.

Government officials, having shut down commerce due to unblemished ignorance of how markets work, now enabled the torching and looting of thousands of businesses due to the shirking of their most profound responsibility: protecting civil peace.

On Monday, May 25, a video of the horrific arrest and death of a black man suspected of passing a forged $20 bill in Minneapolis went viral. A police officer kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd begged for help breathing. Floyd was already handcuffed and thus posed a minimal risk. The officer ignored Floyd’s distress even as Floyd stopped talking or moving.

The officer’s behavior was grotesquely callous and contrary to sound tactics, and the officer will be prosecuted and punished under the law. His behavior was not, however, representative of the overwhelming majority of the ten million arrests that the police make each year. Indeed, there is no government agency more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police. Nevertheless, within 24 hours, the violence had begun.

On the night of Thursday, May 28, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey ordered the city’s Third Police Precinct evacuated as the forces of anarchy descended upon it for a third day in a row. The building was promptly torched, sending a powerful sign that society would not defend its most fundamental institutions of law and order.

Soon cities across the country became scenes of feral savagery. The human lust for violence, the sheer joy of plunder and destruction, were unleashed without check. Police officers were shot at, run over, slashed with knives, and clubbed; two current and former law enforcement officers were killed in cold blood. Police cruisers and station houses were firebombed; courthouses were trashed. Looters drove trucks through storefronts and emptied the stores’ contents into the back of these newly repurposed vehicles of civil war. ATMs were ripped out of walls; pharmacies plundered for drugs.

Blue state governors and mayors ordered law enforcement to stand down or use at most (in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s words) a “light touch” with the rioters. By the time these progressive public leaders realized that something more forceful needed to be done, it was too late. The fire of sadism and hatred could not be contained, but would have to burn itself out. Belatedly imposed curfews were universally ignored: why should anyone obey an edict from a government that refused to protect human life and livelihoods?

Perversely, the rioting exhibited features of the coronavirus shutdowns in even more literal form. If before, businesses were boarded up due to bankruptcy, now they were boarded up to prevent further theft. Small businesses, lacking the resources to outlast the shutdowns, now saw the final depletion of their inventories. The fortress mentality in residential buildings from coronavirus hysteria was replaced by an actual fortress, as building managements hastily erected plywood barriers over lobby windows and doors. The hyped-up fear of going outside into allegedly virus-infected public spaces became a justified fear of leaving one’s fortress and being sacrificed to the mob. Shelter-in-place became a necessity, not a product of government overreach. The fall of night became a source of terror for ordinary citizens and business owners.

Previously, securely-employed public officials breezily dismissed their constituents’ anguish over unemployment and growing business failures. Now those same officials, safe behind their security details and publicly-owned mansions, foreswore the activation of the National Guard and military. None of those officials owned businesses, so they faced no loss either from economic quarantine or from physical rampage.

DOUBLE STANDARDS

One thing did change markedly between the coronavirus lockdowns and the riot lockdowns, however: elite wisdom regarding social distancing. The politicians, pundits, and health experts who had condescendingly rebuked business owners for reopening without official permission, who had banned funerals and church services of more than ten people, and who had heaped scorn on protesters who had gathered in state capitols to express their economic distress, suddenly became avid cheerleaders for screaming crowds numbering in the thousands.

Most remarkably, public officials overtly admitted to choosing the forms of assembly that would be allowed based on the content of the protesters’ speech. Mayor de Blasio explained that protests over “400 years of American racism” are not the same as a “store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to services.” While the store owner or worshipper may be “understandably aggrieved,” he conceded, their grievances must still be suppressed in the name of coronavirus safety. Not the grievances of the protesters and rioters, however. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy congratulated the Black Lives Matter activists and distinguished them from mere “nail salon” entrepreneurs protesting their ongoing business stasis. The two are in “different orbits,” Murphy said.

The politicians’ hypocrisy was a mere warm-up for that of the public health establishment. These were the people whose diktats had inspired the lockdowns and whose allegedly supreme knowledge of medical risk was allowed to cancel all other considerations in maintaining a functioning society. Nearly 1,200 of these same experts, including from the CDC, signed a public letter supporting the unsocially distanced protests on the grounds that “white supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19.”

One could just as easily argue that a global depression, induced by the gratuitous crushing of trade and the hollowing out of capital, is a lethal public health issue of at least equal magnitude. But it turns out that public health is as much about politics as it is about science.

This shameless reversal should have torpedoed the lockdowns once and for all. If it turns out that mass gatherings were now not just allowable but to be encouraged, no rationale remained for preventing restaurants and stores from reopening. But instead, once media attention became a little less monomaniacally focused on the anti-police agitation, the familiar chorus rose up again, directed at everyone else: Stay socially distanced! Wear your outdoor masks! No gatherings of more than a few dozen! No entering “non-essential” stores! The same arbitrary “metrics” for business reopenings were still in place and still being enforced.

By now, the collapse of government legitimacy is complete. For three months, public officials abdicated their responsibility to balance the costs and benefits of any given policy. They put the future of hundreds of millions of Americans in the hands of a narrow set of experts who lack all awareness of the workings of economic and social systems, and whose “science” was built on the ever-shifting sand of speculative models and on extreme risk aversion regarding only one kind of risk.

The public officials who ceded their authority to the so-called experts were deaf to the pleas of law-abiding business owners who saw their life’s efforts snuffed out. They engineered the destruction of trillions of dollars of wealth, through thoroughly arbitrary decision making. And then they stood by as billions more dollars of work burned down. Public order and safety, equal treatment under the law, stability of expectations—all the prerequisites for robust investment have been decimated. The failure to quell the riots means that more are inevitable. Any future business faces possible destruction by another lockdown or by looting—which it will be is anyone’s guess.

The coronavirus lockdowns demonstrated our leaders’ ignorance of economic interdependence. After the riots, that ignorance has been shown to run far deeper. It is an ignorance about government’s most fundamental obligation: to safeguard life, liberty, and property. It is an ignorance about human nature and human striving.

Property and capital are not soulless abstractions, easily replaced by an insurance payout, as the rioters and their apologists maintain. (The Massachusetts Attorney General noted that burning is “how forests grow.”) Capital is accumulated effort and innovation, the sum of human achievement and imagination. Its creation is the aim of civilization. But civilization is everywhere and at all times vulnerable to the darkest human impulses. Government exists to rein in those impulses so that individual initiative can flourish. America’s Founders, schooled in a profound philosophical and literary tradition dating back to classical antiquity, understood the fragility of civil peace and the danger of the lustful, vengeful mob.

Our present leaders, the products of a politicized and failing education system, seem to know nothing of those truths. Pulling the country back from the abyss will require a recalling of our civilizational inheritance.

COLUMN BY

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in English from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She writes for several newspapers and periodicals, including The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe New Criterion, and Public Interest, and is the author of four books, including The War on Cops: How The New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe and The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.

EDITORS NOTE: This Imprimis Digest column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

WATCH President Donald J. Trump’s News Conference on 7/21/2020

At 5 p.m. ET on July 21, 2020 , President Trump held a news conference from the White House Briefing Room. The White House posted President Trump’s full news conference on YouTube.

NOTE: President Trump begins his remarks at the 40:30 minute mark.

WATCH:

©White House. All rights reserved.

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RELATED VIDEO: The violence in Portland must end

“The well-organized mob in Portland has become increasingly aggressive, especially against law enforcement officers,” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters during a press briefing this morning.

“Individuals have thrown bricks, chunks of concrete, glass bottles, feces, balloons filled with paint, pigs’ feet, slingshots to hurl ball bearings, and batteries at Federal agents and the courthouse. Multiple attempts to barricade officers in the Hatfield Courthouse have occurred.” The violence has raged on for more than 50 days.

NYT Publishes Radical Economic Manifesto Calling for Reparations

The New York Times devoted its entire “Sunday Review” section last weekend to an economic manifesto calling for banks to apologize for “structural racism,” for an Amendment enshrining “voter equality,” and for wealthy Americans to “give up your privilege.”

The manifesto, “The Economy We Need,” focuses on redressing economic inequality — not growth or job creation — as America’s main economic challenge. Toward that end, the lead editorial calls for the Federal Reserve to target black unemployment instead of overall unemployment, and for banks to pay reparations. It also demands banks “apologize for their culpability for and complicity in structural racism” and “commit to serving black people as they do whites.”

Other demands: cancel consumer debt and eliminate banking fees for black customers, and give interest-free mortgages to black homebuyers and interest-free loans to black-owned businesses.

The New York Times is now a propaganda megaphone for the Black Lives Matter racial extortion racket.


New York Times (NYT)

88 Known Connections

A staff writer at The New York Times Magazine wrote on June 5th that Black Lives Matter is “America’s current incarnation of a civil rights movement.” The author, Jenna Wortham, rhapsodized, “This is the biggest collective demonstration of civil unrest around state violence in our generation’s memory. The unifying theme, for the first time in America’s history, is at last: Black Lives Matter.” Her article was entitled “A ‘Glorious Poetic Rage.’”  This was the phrase an activist involved with Black Lives Matter in Minnesota used to describe how the third day of protests in that city felt “when a police station house was lit on fire.”

To learn more about the New York Times, click here for the profile link.

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Two-Thirds of COVID-19 Deaths in U.S. Occurred in 10 States

As Heritage Foundation researchers have demonstrated throughout the pandemic, the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. has been heavily concentrated in a small number of states—and among a small number of counties within states. Even though the U.S. has seen a rapid rise in cases during the last few weeks, the overall levels of concentration have remained fairly consistent.

As of July 14, 2020, for example, just 10 states account for 61% of all U.S. cases and 66% of all deaths (and 62% of the population).

The five states with the most cases—New York, California, Florida, Texas, and New Jersey—report 43% of all U.S. cases and 45% of all deaths.

Together, New York and New Jersey alone account for 34% of total COVID-19 deaths, though they include only 9% of the U.S. population.


Two regimes are fighting an ideological war in America today. But what side are you on? And how can you sharpen up on how to defend your position? Learn more now >>


These state-level figures do not, however, adequately describe the concentrated nature of the spread of COVID-19.

The 30 counties with the most COVID-19 deaths, for example, account for nearly one-third of all the cases in the U.S. and 49% of all deaths, much greater than their 16% share of the U.S. population. That is, just 1% of the counties in the U.S., representing 16% of the U.S. population, are responsible for approximately half of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.

Of those 30 counties, 24 are in the Northeast corridor between Philadelphia and Boston, the passageway served by a commuter railway system that runs through Manhattan.

Overall, only about 10% of the counties in the U.S. contain 90% of all the COVID-19 deaths, even though these counties include 62% of the population.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been many U.S. counties with relatively few COVID-19 deaths. For instance, as of May 11, 64% of all counties (16% of the U.S. population) had one or fewer COVID-19 deaths. As of July 14, 48% of all counties (9% of the population) have no more than one COVID-19 death each.

While these numbers have obviously declined since May, many counties still have a relatively small number of COVID-19 deaths. In particular, as of July 14, 66% of all counties (16% of the population) have five or fewer COVID-19 deaths.

Now that COVID testing has dramatically increased and many state and local governments have relaxed stay-at-home orders, it is even more critical to study the trends in deaths along with cases. To make studying these trends easier, The Heritage Foundation now has two interactive COVID-19 trackers—one that tracks trends in cases, while the other tracks trends in deaths.

The trackers describe whether the trend of cases—or deaths—is increasing or decreasing over the prior 14 days, and provides a visual depiction of new cases—or deaths—during this time period. These tools help put the concentrated nature of the pandemic in perspective with county-level data and they show just how difficult it can be to use only one metric to gauge whether a county or state is doing well.

For instance, Harris County in Texas has seen increases of cases over the past two weeks, with a rate of 39 additional new cases each day for the past 14 days. On July 14, the county had 2,001 new cases, the most of the two-week period. Deaths have seen an increase as well, with one additional new death above trend every five days.

Another example is DeKalb County in Indiana, which is also experiencing increasing cases. However, its new cases are only one above trend over the 14-day period, and it has had a total of 15 new cases over the past 14 days. DeKalb also ranks around the middle of U.S. counties for cases with less than a half a percent of the population recording COVID-19 cases.

Readers are invited to explore the information in the tracker and check back frequently for updates.

COLUMN BY

Norbert Michel

Norbert Michel studies and writes about housing finance, including the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow in financial regulations. Read his research. Twitter: @norbertjmichel.

Drew Gonshorowski

Drew Gonshorowski focuses his research and writing on the nation’s new health care law, including the repercussions for Medicare and Medicaid, as a policy analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. He also studies economic mobility and the Austrian school of economics. Twitter: @Gonshorowskd.


A Note for our Readers:

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RELATED: The below chart is from WorldOMeter.info:

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