August 23, 2017 Last Updated 8:00 am

President continues war on the media, CNN and Fox News play along, hand over airtime

Morning Brief: The body of Swedish journalist Kim Wall has been found, with signs of a deliberate attempt to weigh down the body to prevent discovery, submarine inventor Peter Madsen remains in custody charged with negligent manslaughter

The president last night presented both Fox News and CNN with a little under 90 minutes of uninterrupted content, while MSNBC decided that the show really wasn’t that good and switched to talking heads. I chose to miss the whole thing live, and instead followed along on Twitter while watching the SFGiants bullpen blow yet another game.

(The Giants ownership, I am convinced, is a lot like the Congress: it sees a disaster occurring, knows what executive management changes it needs to make, but does nothing while the whole situation gets out of hand.)

Donald Trump in Phoenix

The New York Times, Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman:

At Rally, Trump Blames Media for Country’s Deepening Divisions

President Trump, stung by days of criticism that he sowed racial division in the United States after deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va., accused the news media on Tuesday of misrepresenting what he insisted was his prompt, unequivocal condemnation of bigotry and hatred…

…In an angry, unbridled and unscripted performance that rivaled the most sulfurous rallies of his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump sought to deflect the anger toward him against the news media, suggesting that they, not he, were responsible for deepening divisions in the country.

“It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions,” Mr. Trump said. He added, “They’re very dishonest people.”

“The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news,” he said.

The Washington Post, Amber Phillips:

Trump blames the media for nearly all of his problems as president

President Trump stepped on stage in Phoenix on Tuesday night with something clearly eating at him. Minutes into his style rally, we learned what: It wasn’t the white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis who threw the nation into chaos and allegedly killed a woman in Virginia last week. Or the intractable 16-year war in Afghanistan that he just announced he’s revving up.

It’s the media…

Actually, Trump didn’t just blame the media for his problems on Tuesday. After one of the worst weeks of his tumultuous, halting presidency, he stretched that attack line and blamed the media for the nation’s problems. In one speech he:

-Accused the media of turning “a blind eye” to gang violence
-Accused the media of “trying to take away our history and heritage” (re: Confederate statues that states and cities are taking down after Charlottesville).
-Accused the media of giving a platform to hate groups (“The only people giving the platform to these hate groups is the media itself.”)
-Called journalists “sick people”
-Said this: “You would think they want to make our country great again. And I honestly believe they don’t.”
-Said the media is “the source of division in our country.”



“We are deeply saddened to learn that Kim Wall is reported to have died. She was beloved by our community. Our thoughts are with her family.”

So read the notice from Columbia Journalism School, as police in Denmark confirmed that the body of Swedish journalist Kim Wall had been discovered.

Submarine inventor Peter Madsen had admitted that she had died while on board his vessel, and that he had “buried her at sea,” but her body had not been found until yesterday, when a cyclist found her body, which had a piece of metal attached in order to weigh her down in the water.

Kim Wall
Photo: Kim Wall by Tom Wall/Scanpix Denmark/Helsingborgs Dagblad

The Local.dk, Michael Barrett:

Body found near Copenhagen is Kim Wall: police

The lead inspector also told media that it appeared Wall’s body had been tampered with to make it sink.

“With regard to the autopsy, I can add that there are some injuries to the torso that appear to have been caused deliberately in an attempt to ensure that air leaves the body to prevent it from floating or leaving the sea bed. Similarly, metal was attached to the body, ostensibly to make sure that it sank to the bottom,” Jensen said.

On Tuesday, police said that the body’s arms, legs and head had been ‘deliberately’ removed.

“Current status is that there is a torso whereby the arms, legs and head have been removed by means of deliberate cutting,” lead investigator Jens Møller Jensen said in a video statement released to press via Twitter on Tuesday.

The Copenhagen Post:

Kim Wall’s blood found in Peter Madsen’s submarine

As the police continue to search for the missing body parts, Madsen continues to maintain that it was an accident. Jens Falkenberg, who helped Madsen build the submarine, contends that an accident is not improbable…

…Another theory is that Wall was killed because she was working on a story that implicated Madsen and a worldwide drug smuggling ring.

An unnamed source wrote to CPH POST last week to present evidence that Wall had previously written a story on the cocaine trade in the Americas and that submarines are frequently used to transport cocaine. Furthermore, dismembered torsos are the hallmark of South American drug lords.

Whatever happened, Madsen is being held in custody until September 5 and has been charged with negligent manslaughter.



The Department of Justice came to its senses yesterday and dropped its attempt to secure the 1.3 million IP addresses of the website disruptj20.org from DreamHost.

The Hill, Morgan Chalfant:

DOJ drops request for IP addresses from Trump resistance site

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is dropping its controversial request for visitor IP addresses related to an anti-Trump website.

The government said in a brief released Tuesday that it has “no interest” in the 1.3 million IP addresses related to the website disruptj20.org. It says it is solely focused on information that could constitute evidence related to criminal rioting on Inauguration Day…

…Lawyers for DreamHost opposed the warrant, arguing it raised First and Fourth Amendment concerns.

“In essence, the Search Warrant not only aims to identify the political dissidents of the current administration, but attempts to identify and understand what content each of these dissidents viewed on the website,” the company’s lawyers said in a legal argument opposing the request.

In response, the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington D.C. on Monday moved to amend the search warrant to DreamHost so that it specifies that the company should not disclose records that constitute HTTP request and error logs related to the website disruptj20.org.

Reuters, Emily Parker:

Commentary: The threat to internet freedom in Trump’s America

This DOJ request appears groundbreaking, and not in a good way. Mark Rumold, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is working with DreamHost on the case, says that this kind of information seizure usually would be limited to a site dedicated to criminal activity, like child pornography or drug sales. What’s unusual about the DreamHost case, Rumold said in an email, is that the targeted website is not dedicated to a criminal enterprise, “but to engaging in the core of what the First Amendment is designed to protect: associating, communicating, learning and engaging with like-minded political protesters and in organizing protests and dissent.”

…In this particular case, the DOJ may not get what it wants. EFF’s Rumold says that the most likely outcome is that DreamHost will have to turn over some information from the site, after the DOJ’s warrant is substantially narrowed and protections are put in place to protect innocent users. But even if that happens, the story shouldn’t end there. Internet companies should continue to speak out about overly broad government requests, and the media and public must remain vigilant. Americans should not take internet freedom for granted.

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