Bayard & Holmes
~ Piper Bayard
The Unholy Threesome of Big Media, Big Politics, and Big Business is never happier than when the public is outraged. Outrage means profits. Outrage means political steam. Outrage means the propaganda of foreign billionaires that would mold us and countries that would dismember our nation is getting through. Public outrage means the media has served its foreign and domestic masters well.
Such realities as political leaders selling out to foreign billionaires, Taliban and drug lords growing fat on American taxpayer dollars, and the entire city of Flint, Michigan facing a third year without clean drinking water are swept aside in the torrent of outrage over Harambe, bathrooms, and now hysteria-inducing headlines about President Trump. With media outlets great and small churning out “fake news” and “alternative facts” attributed to “unnamed officials,” “an official who spoke on condition of anonymity,” or even “a source close to officials familiar with the case,” Americans are starved for reliable information.
Social media exacerbates this truth famine by offering outrage to a public eager to feed its hysteria addiction with shares and retweets.
Even the most popular media outlets, such as the Washington Post,* publish outright lies with clickbait headlines, only to retract the entire stories two days later. But at that point, their aims are fulfilled. The stories are already viral slop in the social media Trough of Outrage, and a society addicted to its own anxieties has sucked it up without pausing to breathe. And the retractions? Crickets. The damage is done.
To counteract this unprecedented tsunami of deceit, we invite people to look beyond the outrage to evaluate a few facts. We label Outrage, Facts, and Opinion accordingly so that there are no misunderstandings. We also include links to articles that we believe might help our readers understand today’s evolving world dynamic.
If we stick together and take the outrageous bombardment with a grain of salt, we eventually might slog our way out of this Information Cesspool.
President Trump appointed Steve Bannon to the National Security Council and “ousted” the country’s most senior military and intelligence officials as regular members of the Principals Committee.
- The National Security Council (“NSC”) is a combination of White House staff, military staff, intelligence staff, and anyone else the president wants on it. Its purpose is to advise and assist the president on national security and foreign policy and to help the president coordinate those policies among the various branches of government. Its members include a wide variety of experts and officials in areas from drug control policy to economic policy to Justice Department issues.
- The Principals Committee is a subset of the NSC. Members of the Principals Committee are required to attend all meetings of the NSC regardless of the meeting agenda.
- President Trump removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the Principals Committee of the NSC.
- President Trump added White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to the Principals Committee of the NSC.
- Steve Bannon is the former editor of Breitbart. He is also a former US Navy officer and was a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. He holds a master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs.
- At this point in time, Trump can legally appoint Mickey Mouse to the NSC if he so desires. Just because no one ever has appointed Mickey Mouse to the NSC doesn’t mean it’s illegal or unconstitutional. It’s Trump’s council.
What this means for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence:
Oh, happy day!
We all know how in every bureaucracy, corporate or governmental, people at all levels clamor for the opportunity to leave their work piling up on their desks to attend meetings, particularly when those meetings have nothing to do with their specialties? . . . Yes. Exactly. . . . The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence are no different. They have full plates without being required to attend meetings that have nothing to do with the military or intelligence communities. Trump’s order relieves them from such an inefficient waste of their time.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence still have permanent invitations to every meeting they would like to attend, and they are still full members of the NSC. In other words, if they want to participate in any and all NSC meetings, they are welcome to do so, but if they are busy fighting jihadis, Russians, or over-reaching Chinese, they don’t have to put everything on hold to attend meetings on economics, the UN, or drug control policy.
Bayard & Holmes Opinion
We are delighted on behalf of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence. Also, we have no idea why Trump would appoint Bannon to the National Security Council. We do know that foreign individuals and hostile countries are inundating Americans with propaganda these days, even in the most “prestigious” journalistic rags. Propaganda is, indeed, a national security issue . . . Let’s face it. If anyone knows about propaganda, it’s the former editor of Breitbart. Only the editors of the New York Times or Washington Post would be as qualified. Perhaps Bannon has been persuaded to use his superpowers on our behalf?
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Steve Bannon ordered the Department of Homeland Security to ignore the Federal Court injunctions and continue enforcing Trump’s temporary ban on immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
- The office of Director of Homeland Security is a Cabinet position. Cabinet positions answer directly to the president.
- Retired Marine General Kelly is the Director of Homeland Security. His boss is President Trump.
- Steve Bannon is nowhere in the chain of command and has no authority to “order” anyone in the government or outside the government to do anything.
Bayard & Holmes Opinion
Aside from those pesky chain-of-command issues, does anyone seriously believe a pampered doughy boy like Bannon can order this guy to do anything? Just saying.
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Trump exempted countries where he holds business interests from the “Muslim ban.”
- The countries chosen were designated by President Obama in the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, as updated in 2016. This link is to the 2016 DHS article: DHS Announces Further Travel Restrictions for the Visa Waiver Program
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White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon circumvented presidential chain of command and paid a personal and unscheduled visit to DHS Director Kelly’s office to confront him over green card waivers to Trump’s presidential memorandum on immigration.
- This was published by the Washington Post on January 28.
- The columnist who wrote about this outrageous behavior, Josh Rogin, attributed the information to “two administration officials familiar with the confrontation.” No word yet on who those “two administration officials” might be. They could literally be the “official file clerks to the secretary of the new guy in Human Resources.”
- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated there had been no confrontation in person or otherwise between Bannon and Kelly.
- On February 4, the Washington Post amended the article and issued a statement admitting that neither Rogin nor anyone else at the publication checked their facts, and that the White House denied the confrontation took place.
Bayard & Holmes Opinion
We are amazed that Josh Rogin ever passed a freshman journalism class. Sadly, we are not amazed that Washington Post hired him. WaPo has recently upgraded its normal procedures for “not checking facts” in the interests of maintaining its standards and traditional dedication to journalistic integrity.
Washington Post isn’t the only media outlet hiring creative writers these days. We all need to take everything we read and everything we hear with a grain of salt.
Piper’s Favorites of the Week:
The World as Seen by Donald Trump – Le Monde Diplomatique
The Intellectual Yet Idiot – Incerto
Read Draft Text of Trump’s Executive Order – Huffington Post
Everything I Need to Know About Russian Interference I Learned from College Pranks – Defense One
An Invasion by Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine – The Interpreter, Institute of Modern Russia
What outrageous rumors have you heard this week? Do you have any you would like us to look into?
*‘Fake News’ And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid
I’ve been sorta off and on about reading Bayard & Holmes, but I think I’m going to start being a lot more regular. We need someone to ferret the truth out of all the crap we hear and read.
By the way, the Washington Post isn’t limited only to the headline section. It’s encroached into the style section with ridiculous non-news articles on the front page of that, and quite long. Today’s was Runway Rebellion (I was afraid to waste time reading it!). Also an article on how journalists need to focus more on objectivity, which sounded good–at least until I read it, and objectivity wasn’t what they were talking about. I’m half-expecting these articles to eventually be somewhat food themed and show up in the food section.
Thanks so much for sharing that tidbit. I’m sad to say I think you’re right about impending doom for the food section.