By now you’ve been exposed to fake news in one form or another. It was a campaign talking point in the 2016 election and today it is even part of President Trump’s stump speech. As a matter of fact, CNN and the New York Times, and other more liberal media outlets have been called fake news media outlets by this president. But, just what is fake news and is the news we watch and read today, really fake?
Over the years, journalism has been gradually taking a turn for the worse. The days of watching Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News and never doubting a story or bias from a news department are long gone. But, let’s be fair to journalism and define what fake news really is.
Fake news refers to a news agency deliberately publishing hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news. This started in social media and different websites and was designed to mislead, rather than entertain or inform readers. These fake news sites appear all over the world, including Germany, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sweden and many originate from Russia, Macedonia, Romania and the U.S. There is a difference from fake news, as Donald Trump likes to call out CNN and the failing New York Times and actual hoax news operations.
The news media in general has become careless over the years in the rush to be the first to report a story. Too often the news media will run stories from an anonymous source, or only get one source for a story without getting both sides. I blame ALL media outlets for this, not just CNN, or the New York Times, who have gone overboard trying to discredit this president. Fox News is also guilty of going too far to the right in defending Trump’s policies. The blame goes both ways and neither side is perfect. Bias is normal, but hidden bias misleads and divides us.
Media is desperately attempting to salvage its reputation. The major networks ABC, CBS and NBC rank highest in credibility, while the cable news outlets continue to decline with MSNBC and CNN leading the decline. The most-preferred media outlets of liberals, according to a Pew study, are the New Yorker and Slate. Fox News’ viewership is most preferable for conservatives and is considered moderate compared to Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck or Breitbart.
So, whether you are a liberal, moderate, conservative, or independent and you are looking for an objective position on the issues, first look at the source of the story, then knowing that source, or writer, draw your own conclusions. I think at the end of the day, we all want to be better informed and have tolerance for those who oppose our views. Being better informed, makes us all better people in the end.
Donald Trump is doing exactly what the left had feared he would do when he campaigned, which has mainstream media and liberal Democrats up in arms. Although, just as the public became weary of the Obama administration’s left leaning policies, a large percentage of the country has forgone the traditional honeymoon period a new president enjoys and has engaged in an all-out crusade striving to limit this president to one-term.
Trump campaigned on closing our borders, eradicating ISIS, restoring our military and changing politics as usual in Washington. We are now seeing the results of those campaign promises. Liberal America never embraced Trump during the campaign and now that he has been elected, they are even more disgusted. This president has moved the country from the far left to the far right and many on the left and some in the middle are not happy.
Trump campaigned that radical change is needed, that we need to “drain the swamp” and clean up the mess Obama created. But, the question many of us are now asking is, did he move too far to the right and will the same radical shift that happened in 2016 shift the other way in 2020? The Democratic party for the most part is in a bit of disarray, but are the Trump radical policies enough to bring the party back together?
Speculation of an Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy is beginning to gain steam. The Massachusetts Democrat has become the liberals favorite. Many from the left wanted to see Warren jump in and run against Clinton, but after advisors started planning fundraisers, Warren decided not to run and wait. Warren was the favorite in a recent poll ahead of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker.
The Real Clear Politics average shows Trump with a 44 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval rating. Trumps initial Gallup approval rating had him at 45 percent, which was lower than that of each previous president going tack to Dwight Eisenhower. Two former presidents, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, each had a 51 percent approval rating, 6 points higher than Trump.
Trump supporters will quickly tell you that polls mean absolutely nothing, as reflected in the recent campaign, where Trump showed no evidence of beating Clinton. Nevertheless, are we seeing signs that the greatest upset in political history may result in a one-term presidency?
It’s way too early to start looking at 2020 and how voters will feel in 4 years. But just as the country shifted from left to right, it could just as easy swing back in the other direction.
2016 may have been the most talked about election year in history. It was a year none of us will ever forget. But, just when you thought the elections were over, here come the city elections. City elections always take place in odd years for local government, such as mayors, councilmen and city judges. 2017 municipal elections will take place April 4 for the primary and June 13 for the general election. If any candidate receives 50% plus one vote, they are automatically declared the winner.
Filing begins January 24 and lasts for 2 weeks, as names are now beginning to surface. There are a couple of big Las Vegas City Council races starting to gain attention, with the biggest being Ward 6, soon to be vacated by Councilman Steve Ross who will be termed out. Kelli Ross, the wife of the current councilman has been raising money for some time now and early expectations had many political experts picking her as the easy winner. But, in the last month a couple of formidable opponents have thrown their hat in the ring to make this race one of the most competitive of this cycle. Enter Former Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and Chris Garvey, a Clark County School Board Trustee.
Fiore, who gained national notoriety in the Nevada Legislature by loosening legislation for gun laws, co-sponsoring bills authorizing the storage and carrying of firearms made headlines when she headed to the Bundy ranch to offer support for the ranchers in 2014. The colorful Assemblywoman, coming off a loss finishing a distant third in her recent run for Congress is outspoken and has a great deal of support in Ward 3, which overlaps with the Assembly district she represented.
Garvey was elected to the Clark County School District Board of Trustees in November 2008 and is a native Nevadan. Garvey knows grassroots campaigning and with a low turnout expected to be no higher than 12%, a good ground game could turn out to be what it takes to win this race.
Ross has the advantage of name ID. With her husband having been in office for 12 years and having been on the ballot in 4 regular elections and a recall election, also knows grassroots and has assembled a top notch political team who specializes on low turnout elections. Three strong candidates so far will make this race perhaps one of the most competitive in this year’s city elections. No predictions yet, but expect to see plenty of fireworks soon in this race.
Megyn Kelly’s recent move to NBC has raised a few eyebrows in political media circles. Kelly now has access to a much larger audience on a major broadcast network. Limited details about Kelly’s new role at NBC have been revealed. Early reports say her multi-year agreement consists of anchoring a new Sunday evening news magazine show, contributing to NBC’s breaking news and handling political and special events coverage. NBC says she may be part of a daytime program, which could replace longtime soap opera, Days of Our Lives, but, I seriously don’t believe daytime TV makes sense, as it has failed in the past for high profile news people. Katie Couric, former Today show co-host lasted two years in a daytime slot on ABC. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper only lasted two seasons on daytime TV. Megyn Kelly is too good and too high profile to be hidden in the daytime.
Kelly fits best on NBC’s showcase show, Meet the Press. MTP in the longest running program in U.S television history, which debuted in 1947. The show debuted during the second official network television season in history. The program has been hosted by 12 different moderators, beginning with creator Martha Roundtree, the only female to date. But, none of them with the superstar status of Megyn Kelly.
Megyn Kelly will make close to $15 million a year at NBC, which puts her in the same income bracket as Today co-host Matt Lauer. To put her in a low rated daytime slot after Today Show simply does not make sense. So, just where do you put her? Lester Holt has good ratings and Kelly is not a news reader. There’s been talk of replacing Savannah Gutherie on Today Show with Kelly which could make sense, but the place where her talents best match up is Meet the Press.
Megyn Kelly, despite her disagreement with Donald Trump and tense exchanges with Bill O’Reilly, has a reputation for promoting right wing views. Plus, when you add another former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who is moving to MSNBC, one could easily see the network making this rightward shift.
NBC is still looking for the success enjoyed when Tim Russert hosted Meet the Press for 16 years, when MTP garnered the highest ratings ever. Ratings are everything in television and Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, has over 3 million viewers and does not appear to be in any immediate danger, but when you have Megyn Kelly warming up in the bull-pen, Todd seems most vulnerable.
Nevada will elect it’s 30th Governor in 22 months. Far from post time, the maneuvering for starting gate position is underway. With a wide-open field and some expected late entries political handicappers are already predicting early favorites. Foreseeing an election almost 2 years out, is as difficult as picking the winner of a horserace when you don’t know the horses, but saddle up, I’m going to take a stab, with my early line, which will surely change before we come down the back stretch:
County Commissioner Steve Sisolak – Close to $3 million cash on hand and money talks in politics. Current Clark County Commission Chair, former Regent, would be first County Commissioner elected governor and first Democrat since Bob Miller in 1999 – 7–1.
U.S. Senator Dean Heller – the early front runner, could win in a breeze if he wants it. Has perfect resume – U.S. Senator, Congressman, Secretary of State, Assemblyman, grew up in Carson City, lived in Nevada since 9 months old, been on statewide ballot and can raise tons of loot. 9-1.
Adam Laxalt – Republican Attorney General rising star propelled by the 2014 “red wave.” A purebred – grandson of former Nevada Governor/U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt and son of former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici. Favorite to win Republican primary, but on sloppy track in general will have difficulty getting crossover vote. Great closer 10-1.
Mark Hutchinson – Lieutenant Governor elected in 2014. Moderate Republican who will appeal to Democrats strong at 11-1.
Aaron Ford fast rising Democratic party star, becomes Senate Majority Leader this session. May consider a run for Attorney General instead of Gov. 25-1.
Others mentioned, but have not publically stated interest in running:
- Former 3 term Mayor Oscar Goodman – All landslide wins. Ranked as most popular political figure. Pollster John Zogby had Goodman in dead heat in possible match-up against Heck and Cortez Masto for U.S. Senate. 15-1.
- North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee – great political pedigree – Assemblyman, State Senator and Mayor. Just won the super trifecta for turning North Las Vegas around. 19-1
- Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson Never lost an election – 22-1.
- Economic Development Director Steve Hill – for his maiden race – tough track – 30-1
It’s a high-stakes race and a crowded field, expect a fast track. Get your bets down, the flag is up and they will soon be off and running.
Full disclosure: The author of this story has represented Mayor Oscar Goodman and currently represents Mayor John Lee through his PR consulting business.
At the stroke of midnight December 31, Las Vegas will welcome the new year, with legal marijuana, thanks to the approval of Question 2 on the November ballot. No longer will it be a crime to smoke weed in Nevada, as we join twenty-six states and the District of Columbia who all have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Seven states and the District of Columbia have adapted more expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, California, Massachusetts and Nevada. If trends follow other states who have legalized pot, expect to see a lot more users than before. But, before you take that first hit on a joint this New Year’s Eve. Here’s what you need to know:
If you are at least 21 years old, you can spoke pot in the privacy of your own home. You will be able to legally possess and purchase up to 1 once recreationally, or 1/8 once cannabis concentrate. If you have a medical marijuana card the limit is 2.5 ounces as a medical marijuana patient.
Initially, there will be no place to purchase pot for recreation use, which could turn many to the black market. Although the taxation department recently said in a press release, sales could begin before 2018 and as early as summer 2017.
With President-elect Trumps appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and his comments like, “I didn’t think the Klan were such bad guys until I found out they smoked marijuana.” And, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” stoners have reasons to be concerned that this new freedom could be short lived. Under federal law, marijuana is still a controlled substance, the Obama administration has refused to enforce those laws in states where it has been legalized. Restrictions and labeling of marijuana began 1906 when it was labeled as a poison and later a regulated drug. Sessions if confirmed, may attempt to enforce these antiquated laws. Although this would put Sessions and this administration in conflict with public opinion. Gallup has polled Americans on marijuana since 1969, when only 12% supported legalization, but since then support for legal weed is close to 60%.
My guess is legal pot is here to stay. Marijuana will become part of the new Vegas experience. Yes, Las Vegas the party capitol of the world is about to get a little bit more fun. So, don’t bogart that joint my friend…
Las Vegas has been in the running for a major-league sports team for close to two decades, starting with the Oakland A’s and then the Montreal Expos, only to finish in second place both times. I remember when Oscar Goodman was elected mayor of Las Vegas in 1999 and one of the first items on Goodman’s agenda was to bring a major-league team to Las Vegas. Goodman had a dream and immediately upon being elected created a committee to bring Major League Baseball to here. It was an amazing committee with several Las Vegas bigshots and entrepreneurs on board, with only one component of our business community missing – GAMING. The casinos had a different philosophy in the 90’s and that was to keep guests gambling in their properties as long as possible. The thoughts of a visitor spending 3 hours at a baseball game was out of the question. That’s before the gaming bosses decided to change direction and make the new Las Vegas a destination for great shopping and celebrity world famous restaurants. This new reasoning was you can find gaming all over the world and Las Vegas needed to offer more than just gaming. Today, we sing a different tune. Major league sports has become a necessity in the Vegas journey to grow as a world-class city.
The city of Oakland in a last-ditch effort this week to keep the Raiders through a mixture of private money from Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott’s investment group, $200 million in city-backed funds, $200 million from the NFL and $300 million from the Raiders, does not seem to have deterred Raiders Owner Mark Davis’s commitment to move to Las Vegas. Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is beginning to warm to the concept of moving a team to Las Vegas.
There’s still lots of work to do to make this a reality, but it appears that Oscar Goodman’s dream back in 1999, just may become a reality 18 years later. As the happiest mayor in the universe would say, “to be a world class city, we need major league sports.” Perhaps now that Las Vegas has moved to the top of the list as the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a major-league sports franchise, we could have two teams shortly – the National Hockey League and the National Football League – Could Major League Baseball be right around the corner? One can only dream.