Sanders releases ‘plan for journalism’
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released a new proposal today that would reform journalism by cracking down on major media mergers and increasing funding for public media at the local level.
“Walter Cronkite once said that ‘journalism is what we need to make democracy work.’ He was absolutely right, which is why today’s assault on journalism by Wall Street, billionaire businessmen, Silicon Valley, and Donald Trump presents a crisis—and why we must take concrete action,” Sanders wrote in a Columbia Journalism Review article announcing the plan.
Among other things, Sanders’ proposal calls for stronger enforcement of antitrust laws against tech giants, who have eaten up a large share of digital advertising, and required disclosure of whether proposed media mergers would result in layoffs.
The announcement also comes as Sanders has faced criticism for his comments about the press. The Vermont senator suggested earlier this month that Washington Post journalists were covering his campaign in a negative light because the newspaper is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Sanders has previously criticized Amazon’s business practices.
Sanders later walked back the comments, clarifying that he does not think the press is “anti-Bernie,” but some of his senior advisers have continued to assert that their boss has been unfairly covered in the media.
Biden’s brother promised political influence, court filing alleges
James Biden, the brother of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, promised his potential business partners they would have influence with the former vice president, according to a court filing in Tennessee.
As reported by Politico, executives from Azzam Medical Services and Diverse Medical Management say in sworn declarations that James Biden promised the firms that his brother would help them secure business and gain national attention.
“During my presentation regarding intensive outpatient treatment, James Biden interrupted me to say, ‘My brother needs to have you in every court system in America,’” the CEO of DMM said.
Another executive said James Biden promised “that the DMM psychiatric care model would be used by Joe Biden as part of his campaign.”
James and Biden’s son, Hunter, have previously been mired in allegations that they attempted to use their family’s political connections to advance their business interests.
House Democrats seeking to expedite McGahn ruling
Good morning, live blog readers!
House Democrats are ramping up their efforts to determine whether to impeach Donald Trump. The House judiciary committee has filed a motion to expedite a ruling on whether the president’s former counsel, Don McGahn, can be compelled to testify. The White House has largely blocked the testimony of former aides by claiming executive privilege.
News of the court motion came hours after reports emerged that the committee was subpoenaing Rob Porter, Trump’s former staff secretary who resigned last year amid allegations of domestic abuse. The White House is almost certain to block that testimony as well.
The panel seems to be accelerating their efforts to render a decision on impeachment as lawmakers prepare to return to Capitol Hill. According to Politico, 136 Democrats now support impeachment or an impeachment inquiry, representing a majority of the caucus.
But the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has resisted impeachment, and she is unlikely to do so without compelling testimony from Trump’s former aides. With the White House blocking that testimony, that could likely leave Democrats nowhere – unless a judge intervenes.
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Trump will have lunch with the vice-president, Mike Pence. He has no other events on his public schedule.
- Representative Steve King will hold a town hall in Iowa at 12pm ET, and the House Republican is likely to touch on his widely condemned abortion comments.
- Representative Ilhan Omar will hold a community forum in Minnesota this evening.
That’s all still coming up, so stay tuned.