By Jeff Childers
“Certified 100% Artificial Intelligence Free”
(possibly completely intelligence free, but you be the judge)
Good morning, C&C, it is Tuesday! Your terrific Tuesday roundup includes: leftwing media is imploding, starting with Vice News, which is headed for chapter 11; Buzzfeed melts down and replaces reporters with free A.I. writers; NPR “realigns” operations with 10% staff layoff after $30 million budget shortfall; top NPR reporter fired and headed toward the Proxy War in new gig as a Substacker; thoughts on leftwing media shrinkage; CNN employees celebrate Don Lemon’s firing last week; Fed breaks rules to let biggest bank snap up the second-largest banking failure in history; Congressional perks; JPMorgan loses motion to dismiss Jeffrey Epstein lawsuits; Arizona judge forces Phoenix to dismantle homeless-occupied zone; and Biden finally — finally! — ends the last federal covid vaccine mandates.
🗞💬 *WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 💬🗞
📉 The New York Times ran a story yesterday headlined “Vice is Said to be Headed for Bankruptcy.” Far-left Vice News, which was celebrated for its repugnant hit piece on Moms for Liberty, will file for bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer.
Vice also published a long-form hit piece on the excellent blogger ‘Clandestine,’ who follows the global biolabs story.
Despite allegedly having 1 million followers on Twitter, this four-day old Vice story only had a handful of likes. Maybe its readers are just bots stacked on bots, all the way down:
It sure looks like nobody’s reading Vice, which might be part of the problem, who knows. Last week, Vice closed its international news department, Vice World News. The Vanity Fair story cited in the next segment said Vice just recently earned a $5.7 billion dollar valuation.
Allegedly. Now, as my favorite bankruptcy professor in law school used to say, that’s $5.7 billion in “teeny-tiny bankruptcy dollars.” Microscopic ones.
📉 It’s not just Vice. Last week, Vanity Fair ran a long-form piece headlined, “‘F—k Him, He Loses’: The Inside Story of How Disney’s Attempt to Buy BuzzFeed Fell Apart.”
The Vanity Fair piece is a tiresome, self-gratifying narrative name-dropping lots of top media players and describing in minute detail how they like to throw other people’s money around. But the interesting part was when it finally got around to describing how ten years ago in 2013, Disney’s Bob Iger offered far left Buzzfeed $500 million dollars for what basically amounted to a website, and — in what must be a historic bloomer — Buzzfeed turned Disney down.
BuzzFeed subsequently swallowed the Huffington Post instead.
The Vanity Fair story was penned by one of BuzzFeed’s narcissistic former managers. Here’s how he feels about panning the remarkable Disney offer, while simultaneously mentioning how he goofed around with President Obama, and virtue-signaling about character-assassinating President Trump, all in the same paragraph:
Still, [Buzzfeed CEO] Peretti says he doesn’t regret turning down the Disney deal, and I don’t either, though I’m sure our investors do. At the time, the upward trajectory seemed clear: Social media would swallow the old internet, and we’d rise with it. And for a couple more years, we seemed to be rising, whether we were goofing around in the White House with Obama or breaking news from a darker and darker Trump campaign.
Anyway, the days of goofing around with the Obamas appear to be over. Last week, Buzzfeed announced it will shutter its Buzzfeed news site for good, laying off 15% of the company to start, and focusing just on the Huffington Post. About ten days ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a prescient story headlined, “BuzzFeed News Is Shutting Down, and Vice World News Could Be Next.”
According to the Journal, Buzzfeed’s stock price is currently trading under $1 a share. You could pick some up pretty cheap, if you think woke leftism is a good bet that is.
Buzzfeed’s doomed CEO Peretti said going forward, the company will loop artificial intelligence into “every aspect” of its sales organization. Nothing could go wrong with THAT plan. The company has also said it will use AI to produce some of its content instead of reporters. Haha, sorry useful idiots, I mean lefty journalists. Buzzfeed has lefty A.I. now… so buh-bye. Go play some video games or something.
📉 Two weeks ago, the New York Times ran a delightful story headlined, “NPR Cuts 10% of Staff and Halts Production of 4 Podcasts.”
Um, coincidentally, NPR just rage-quit Twitter, too, for accurately labeling it “partly government-funded.”
The far-left media network, whose middle name is literally “Public,” insists that stalwart leftwing listeners fund its operations. The Times reported the recent layoffs were intended to make up for a $30 million shortfall in NPR’s annual budget.
That’s a lot.
“This is a painful time for everyone in this organization,” NPR spokeslady Isabel Lara, who kept her position, accurately explained. “We will work across teams and functions to advance, realign and reprioritize where we need to.”
In the intersection between corporate media shrinkage and the Proxy War, the hundreds of axed NPR staffers included reporter Tim May, NPR’s Ukraine war correspondent. He’s solo and headed back into the war zone, hoping to make it as a full-time Substacker:
Just a few months ago, NPR was calling for Substack’s cancellation for spreading conspiracy theories or disinformation something. Just saying.
Mr. Mak hasn’t yet posted anything interesting to his Substack. Just his initial announcement, which was poorly-written and contained zero news content. Since April 25th — a week ago — nada. You’d think a professional journalist could crank a few pieces out in a week.
Wait. Maybe that explains the cuts.
🔥 So what does all this lefty media shrinkage mean? First, I think it reflects the economic contraction. That’s actually good news, at least when it comes to slaying wokeism, because it is forcing corporate America to trim the fat, and an easy target for trimming is all the newly-hired, non-essential DEI staff. I predict that people who work at big corporations will be attending lots fewer ‘pronoun training classes’ this year.
Who knows, corporate employees might even miss learning about an entire generation of made-up words.
Second, I think the public is getting worn out hearing the same story and same opinion on every single leftwing channel. Twitter has helped destroy people’s interest. Who cares what Buzzfeed says, since it’s the exact same as what CNN, Vice, HuffPo, and the New York Times all say.
In economic terms, the demand for marxist news is shrinking at the same time as there is a glut of supply. That’s not good for business.
Third, new independent media is rising at the same time that corporate media is sinking. I’ll give you one word to prove it: Substack. Even Mr. Mak knows it. Not even a year ago, Substack was being pilloried for being a misinformation super-spreader.
Now it might be the most influential media platform in the world.
In fact, Substack is so successful that Twitter is now rolling out its own long-form, subscriber-supported platform. Where does this leave legacy corporate media outlets like Vice and Buzzfeed?
Nowhere, that’s where.
📉 This year, CNN, ESPN, ABC, NewsCorp, the Washington Post and others have all announced cuts. On the same day Fox disconnected from Tucker Carlson (we still don’t know the details), CNN unceremoniously fired Don Lemon for very different reasons.
A few days ago, the UK Daily Mail ran a hilarious story with its typical extended headline, “CNN insiders say this is the REAL reason Don Lemon was FINALLY squeezed out the door – and it’s no wonder network staff can’t stop celebrating his ousting.”
Lemon, 57, tweeted his surprise last Monday morning, “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned.” But CNN called that fake news, and said they’d offered Lemon a fair chance to meet with management and pick up his pink slip in person.
The firing came a few short days after the pompous gay anchorman clashed on live TV with presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. Ramaswamy had recently spoken at the annual NRA convention, and had said that Southern Democrats — in the aftermath of the Civil War — restricted the gun rights of newly freed black people and wanted to keep them in chains.
Lemon didn’t like that, no, not one bit. During the live segment, Lemon repeatedly accused Ramaswamy of lying and demanded to see the evidence. Where is the evidence! “When you are in black skin and you live in this country, then you can disagree with me,” Lemon snapped at Ramaswany, who is only Indian-American and nowhere near black enough for Don Lemon.
The Daily Mail also recalled how Lemon was suspended by CNN for three days back in February, when during a live segment about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 51, Lemon quipped: “[She] isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
Ouch. A source told Daily Mail Lemon’s weak three-day suspension was considered around the office to be “a f***ing joke.”
Apparently Lemon — CNN’s highest-profile gay reporter — hates women. Which may help explain his atypical sexual proclivities. He also — and this is going to shock you — was allegedly pretty handsy with the male staffers.
So the staff don’t seem to be too upset about Lemon leaving. A senior CNN producer told the Mail, “No one is worried that this will hurt ratings. Don will never be welcomed back. He has burned all his bridges here. He will be replaced with someone who treats everyone, especially women, with respect.”
Strive to live in a way that your co-workers don’t throw a party after you get fired. That’s my advice.
📉 Over the weekend, the Federal Reserve found a sucker, I mean a buyer, for First Republic Bank, in the second-largest bank failure in history, and the third consecutive bank failure in two months. The Wall Street Journal ran a peevish story this morning headlined, “How Washington Got On Board With a Big-Bank Deal for First Republic.”
The Journal reported, “JPMorgan was the only bank with the appetite to buy substantially all of First Republic at a competitive price,” which was $13 billion dollars that JPMorgan scraped out of its spare change drawer. Among other surprising critics of the deal was Elizabeth “Sacagawea” Warren, who sent up a smoke signal that, translated into American English, indicated the deal proved the problem of “too big to fail” banks has only gotten worse, adding that regulators should never have let JPMorgan to buy First Republic.
Warren’s war paint was on because JPMorgan was allowed to bypass a federal restriction that normally would stop it from buying other banks, because it holds over 10% of all U.S. bank deposits.
Hopefully nothing bad will happen to JPMorgan.
🔥 Seen online, being in Congress comes with perks:
📉 Reuters ran a story yesterday headlined, “Judge Says JPMorgan Could Be Liable for Epstein Sex Trafficking if Staley Knew About It.”
The three U.S. Virgin Islands cases include accusations that Epstein and one of JPMorgan’s top bosses Jes Staley, 66, swapped sexually suggestive messages about young women, including an email where Staley said: “That was fun. Say hi to Snow White.”
Sex tourist and JPMorgan Top Manager Jes Staley
The U.S.’s largest bank had moved to dismiss the cases arguing that the bank had no relationship with the victims. But yesterday the judge disagreed, writing “If the allegations in plaintiffs’ complaints are taken as true, Mr. Staley had actual first-hand knowledge that Epstein conducted a sex-trafficking venture.”
Uh oh. Worse, documents show Mr. Staley was a regular guest at Epstein’s sex island.
All three lawsuits, including one brought by the U.S. Virgin Islands, are scheduled for trial this year. Stay tuned.
🔥 This is terrific news. National Review ran an amazing story yesterday headlined, “State Judge Blows a Hole in Leftist Case for Neglecting Homeless Camps, Open-Air Drug Markets.”
A citizen-led lawsuit against the city of Phoenix succeeded in obtaining an order in late March from the judge that required the city to clean out a homeless hellhole it has created in downtown Phoenix called, “The Zone.”
Last week, Phoenix began complying with the order:
The Plaintiffs’ lawyers told National Review the ruling could have wide implications outside of Phoenix and far beyond Arizona’s borders. They explained the court’s 23-page ruling could serve as a legal prescription for how to defeat the massive homeless encampments sprouting up in parks and sidewalks in big blue cities across the country, particularly on the West Coast.
I think they might be right.
The citizens argued that the city “created a nuisance” — a long-standing common-law term — by failing to enforce well-established anti-squatting laws. In his ruling, Judge Blaney agreed, finding that the city of Phoenix was illegally “maintaining a public nuisance in the Zone” — a biohazard where crime is rampant and laws are arbitrarily enforced.
The judge wrote:
None of the cases cited by the City of Phoenix “precluded municipalities from enforcing prohibitions against fires, stoves, or structures that do not provide the most rudimentary precautions against the elements. Nor do the cases preclude municipalities from abating a nuisance, arresting violent offenders, enforcing the laws against drugs and violence, or enforcing laws against biohazards and pollution of public waters, etc.”
Nor was the judge buying the city’s plaintive arguments that homeless people just need a helping hand:
Although unthinkable for the general public, there are some individuals in the Zone that choose to live in a tent on the sidewalks or in the street, with three meals each day provided by the Human Services Campus and the ability to engage in antisocial behavior and drug use.
The Court expressly found that the City of Phoenix had created a biohazard:
Since 2018, the Zone has evolved into a serious environmental nuisance – a biohazard – that empties into the state’s waterways. The City does not dispute this fact. There is a considerable amount of human waste, food waste, and trash dumped on the streets or around the streets. Homeless individuals defecate and urinate in the open on the streets, sidewalks, lawns, and buildings. Property and business owners are forced to clean up the human waste each day. When it rains, the soil in and around the area is so soaked with urine and human feces that the rain intensifies the smell. Business and property owners do not go outside when it rains because of the puddles full of human urine and feces. The proliferation of human excrement and half-eaten food causes an infestation of flies and other insects in the Zone.
Wow, that sounds great. I can’t WAIT to visit Phoenix, how about you? There’s nothing that gets the blood flowing quite like the pungent odor of urine mixed with burning fentanyl at sunrise.
A Seattle anti-squatting activist told National Review that she believes big blue cities are intentionally allowing the homeless problem to proliferate so voters will approve expensive permanent housing laws. Maybe. But I think it makes more sense that the bizarre phenomenon is actually a carefully-organized strategy to destroy downtown property values so lefty billionaires can snap up the valuable real-estate for pennies on the dollar.
In any event, this case is a legal earthquake, and provides a recipe for other citizens across the U.S. to follow. Who would have thought a simple, common-law cause of action like “abatement of a nuisance” would have provided a lifeline? This result is the excellent work of some very creative, hardworking attorneys.
Here’s a link to the judge’s decision (23 pages). It’s quite a good read.
Among the communities hit hardest by the judge’s ruling were drug dealers, who complained about losing the convenience of having their customers all in one place. “These people don’t have cars, how you gonna expect them to get to the deal? Fly?,” asked Tyrone Fakename, one of the City’s solo entrepreneurs doing business in the Zone.
It is hard to exaggerate the progress that this case represents. More stubbornly than Balaam’s ass, courts have been woefully reluctant to meddle in the homelessness problem, giving free range to negligent cities, and gullibly buying their ridiculous fairy tales that city officials are actually trying to help anybody (except leftwing billionaires).
Like the very first decisions pushing back on covid mandates, this court’s order, and the City’s begrudging compliance with it, could signal a new era in fighting back against marxist city planners who let their cities go to Sheol.
💉 Reporting another development that terrified blue-state democrats, CBS ran a story late yesterday headlined, “Biden Administration Ending Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers and International Travelers.”
Last night the White House announced the U.S. will finally end the requirement for non-U.S. citizens to show proof of vaccination to enter the country. The Biden administration will also end the stayed vaccine mandate for federal employees, federal contractors and other federally funded workers.
The vaccine requirements are now set to end on May 11th, when the Biden administration will “officially” declare the end of the public health emergency. You’ll recall that back in April, Congress passed, and at the last minute Biden signed, a legislative end to the pandemic’s national and public health emergencies, effective immediately.
Novak Djokovic can now enter the United States and play in the U.S. Open. And our Canadian C&C brothers and sisters can now fly back and forth to America unmolested.
The White House’s statement explained, “While vaccination remains one of the most important tools in advancing the health and safety of employees and promoting the efficiency of workplaces, we are now in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary.”
Manhattan resident Cindy McLamebrain, 72, who’s had seven boosters, lives with 12 cats, and donates random small amounts to ActBlue over fifty times a day, was outraged. “How can they let these smelly foreigners come into the country and spread covid everywhere? Don’t they know a million people died?”
Only in the high-jabbed countries, Cindy. Cry harder.
This took far too long, but it’s progress. Maybe the pandemic is finally over, in which case I’m going to re-throw that party I had in 2021 back when it should have ended. If any of you reading this post attended that head-fake celebration, please chime in with a memorable comment today.
Have a tremendous Tuesday! We will meet again tomorrow for another fresh roundup.
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The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.