A new report shows that the New York Post’s explosive Hunter Biden story was so shaky multiple reporters inside the tabloid refused to have their bylines put on it -- but editors there pushed it ahead anyway.
Meanwhile, Bolivia heads to the polls for the first time since election dysfunction and a right-wing coup ousted socialist president Evo Morales last year. His party stands a chance of retaking the government, but the election could once again get messy.
And lastly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sets a 48 hour deadline for stimulus talks with the President, challenging the White House to get an acceptable bill on the table before Tuesday.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Generally, if a reporter thinks a story is too sketchy to put their byline on it, it’s probably to sketchy to print. But not at the New York Post!
According to a new report by the New York Times, the Post rammed through the controversial and quite possibly bogus story about Hunter Biden’s laptop and corruption implications despite the protests of multiple reporters who worked on it. The Times reports that the story came basically hand-fed from Rudy Giuliani, who said he deliberately gave it to the Post because quote “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.” endquote.
Crazy how that worked out for him! Sure enough, the Post ran the story. Bruce Golding, the original reporter who wrote most of the story, took a stand against top editors and refused to put his byline on the piece, as he had serious doubts about its credibility.
The story, in short, used alleged emails on a laptop hard drive allegedly owned by Hunter Biden to show that Joe Biden, his father, had allegedly directed U.S. foreign policy to benefit his son’s business interests while Vice President. Notice how many times I just said “allegedly.” That’s because the story as a whole was a REAL stretch.
With Golding washing his hands of the matter, Post editors then slapped a new byline on it: Emma-Jo Morris, a politics editor freshly at the post by way of Sean Hannity’s Fox News Show, whose Instagram feed includes several pictures of her with Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Crazy how that one worked out too! The Post also put another reporter’s byline on the story without even telling her it was going to be on there.
Clearly, things over at New York’s most venerable source of tawdry, right-wing garbage are proceeding, well, actually pretty normally for them. We should expect this by now!
Bolivia Heads to the Polls
Sunday was election day in Bolivia, and though it may take days for election results to come in, the results could change the country’s history or tear it apart all over again.
If you remember, last year a right wing coup ousted Bolivia’s socialist president Evo Morales. Morales and his party won nationwide elections in 2019, which quickly devolved after right wing parties weaponized accusations of election fraud to spark protests and force an hard-right usurper, Jeanine Áñez, into power. Áñez, who once declared the indigenous people Morales hails from quote “satanic,” is not running in the current election as she didn’t wish to split the conservative vote.
Morales was a flawed avatar for the country’s push for equality, especially in his fourth, legally contested run for office, but he unquestionably improved living conditions for millions of Bolivians under his control.
In Sunday’s election, Morales’s Movement Towards Socialism party is represented by former finance minister Luis Arce, who has a slight edge in the polls over his main challenger, centrist journalist and former president Carlos Mesa.
Voting is mandatory in Bolivia, and on Sunday, multiple publications reported long lines outside of polling stations. Both parties are expecting contested results and possibly protests or violence after the count is announced.
Pelosi Sets Bailout Deadline
After a chaotic week of stubbornness, Nancy Pelosi is giving the White House a 48 hour deadline to deliver her an acceptable stimulus bill if they want it passed before the election.
Pelosi and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin have been in largely unproductive talks for months, and are still hung up over the meager offerings the White House is prepared to hand out. What Pelosi should do here is a nasty choice: if she caves to the White House’s demands, Mnuchin could slip through a bill that includes loose language about a nationwide testing program and a whole host of nasty corporate-friendly liability provisions. But if she doesn’t agree to anything, there’s almost no way that struggling American families will get a second $1200 stimulus check.
Some progressives are pushing Pelosi to take the deal in the hope that some relief makes it to everyday Americans. But it’s worth noting that even if she and Mnuchin strike a deal, Senate Republicans under Mitch McConnell are even more opposed to new spending than the White
House is. The thinking is that at least if Pelosi passes something, the blame goes to McConnell if Americans continue to suffer.
Most analysis thinks that a compromise isn’t likely, which means Americans living on the edge have little chance of getting relief before the election. That’s bad for Trump, of course, who will face a worsening economic picture as voting day edges clearer, but it’s also, you know, bad for all the people who desperately need assistance, and no amount of political skirmishing will fix the wounds the people in power have already caused.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer can’t really catch a break: During a Trump rally in her state on Saturday, the president again sparked his supporters to chant “Lock her up.” Whitmer, in an interview with NBC, justifiably said the President was inciting right wing terrorism, like the idiots who plotted to kidnap her just over a week ago.
Pro-democracy, student-led protests continued in Thailand this weekend in defiance of a government ban on protesting, despite facing transit shutdowns, targeted arrests and police brutality. Thailand’s ruling party took power in a military coup in 2014.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who led one of the most successful responses to Coronavirus around the world, led her left-wing labor party to a massive, resounding victory on Saturday, corralling over 49 percent of the vote and crushing the center-right opposition party to establish a huge majority in the country’s Parliament.
And finally, the Trump administration is reportedly planning a massive deregulatory push to gut federal agencies and environmental protections if they lose the election, tying up a future Biden administration in months if not years of work trying to put things back in order. Sounds like the kind of spite we should expect!
That’s it for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. Stay tuned for the full show with Sam later this afternoon.
OCT 19, 2020 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn