Headlines 

Elon Musk wins in ‘pedo guy’ defamation trial

Los Angeles (CNN Business)After a four-day-long trial, a jury took less than an hour to decide that Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk did not defame British caver Vernon Unsworth when he sent a tweet calling Unsworth “pedo guy.” “There are people and relationships and situations that will be harmed for decades because of the fallout,” Wood said. At the heart of the case was whether Musk’s “pedo guy” tweet was a statement of fact. According to Musk’s legal team, it was an insult that was provoked by Unsworth, who called…

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Disney+ launches, then crashes

New York (CNN Business)Disney+ launched to much fanfare on Tuesday, and then immediately hit some bumps. “The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our high expectations. We are pleased by this incredible response and are working to quickly resolve the current user issue. We appreciate your patience,” a Disney+ spokesperson said in a statement. Downdetector, a website that provides information on online outages, had received more than 7,300 reports of problems related to Disney+ by 7 a.m. ET. The number of reports then dropped before going up again, spiking at…

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Facebook’s ‘free speech’ claims don’t work when democracy is crumbling | Julia Carrie Wong

What do Zuckerbergs bromides about American values mean to Facebook users in Kashmir or the Philippines? When Facebook wrote to Joe Bidens campaign to say it would not back down from its decision to exempt politicians from its ban on advertising false statements, it was not Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg who signed op-ed in USA Today this week. Fundamentally we believe that, in a democracy, its better to let voters make their own decisions, not companies like Facebook. Amid all this attention, Harbaths the goes, Harbath is a Trojan…

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I watched Fox News every day for 44 months here’s what I learned

As a media critic, Ive had an intimate look at the channels morning show and how it poisons the national conversation Everything should calm down a little bit in seven months, they said. It was 9 February 2016, when I began my career as a critic of Fox News at Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit progressive research center dedicated to monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the US media. Most people, eventually pic.twitter.com/H4QQOWJewm which also lies daily pops up a lot. Ed Henrys role in the news division…

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Australian newspapers black out front pages as media unites to defend press freedom

New York (CNN Business)The biggest news outlets in Australia, normally fierce rivals, are uniting in support of press freedom with a campaign including blacked-out newspaper front pages and slots on prime time broadcasts. “The straw that broke the camel’s back were the raids on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst (who now faces possible criminal charges, ironically because she reported the government was considering new powers to spy on all of us) and an unrelated raid on the ABC headquarters after a report detailing incidents of Australian special forces troops killing…

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Here’s how reporters are covering the aftermath of an anti-Latino hate crime

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. We need more of this: CBS has been calling Saturday’s shooting “the worst attack on Latinos in modern American history.” On the “CBS Evening News,” correspondent David Begnaud visited a local Catholic church and interviewed residents. “We’re not all rapists and animals” the way “someone has depicted us,” Ruben Torres told Begnaud. These two headlines from the Los Angeles Times also caught my attention: “For Latinos, El…

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From Fox to the Sun, battle over Baltimore rages in the wake of Trump’s tweets

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. → Background: The anti-Cummings attack started with videos from conservative commentator Kimberly Klacik, which were amplified by Fox, which inspired Trump to lash out… Two WaPo stories that understand the Fox feedback loop “The country can thank Fox News for touching off this entire calamity,” media critic Erik Wemple wrote Monday afternoon. He said Fox “relishes any opportunity to attach the ills of major U.S. cities to…

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How news outlets are dealing with the ‘moral dimension’ of covering Trump and his racist tweets

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. He said/she said is a tried and true journalistic technique, of course, but it is insufficient at a time like this. If telling Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” isn’t racist, what is? There were some exceptions — CNN chief among the news outlets — that called out this example of racism emanating from…

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Can ‘Spider-Man’ save the slumping summer box office?

New York (CNN Business)“Spider-Man: Far From Home” made $39.2 million on its opening day on Tuesday and it is expected to make $125 million at the North American box office over its six day holiday opening, according to Sony (SNE), which co-produced the superhero film with Marvel Studios. “Strong reviews, Marvel’s goodwill, and Tom Holland’s popularity as Spider-Man will obviously be major factors again, but this is ultimately Spider-Man — one of the most popular icons of comic book lore and blockbuster cinema over the past two decades,” Robbins said.…

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Our debate TV predictions: Can the Democrats score ratings points in the age of Trump?

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. Predictions are all over the place. Some TV insiders say 7 million. Others say 17 million! The total viewer number for night one will tell us something about the electorate’s level of enthusiasm about the candidates and the race. My humble guess: The three TV channels combined will average 8 million viewers on night one and 10 million viewers on night two, when there are a greater…

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Odds and Ends 

One-Time #Resistance Hero Rod Rosenstein Was Trumps Leak-Hunter-in-Chief

Rod Rosenstein was a #Resistance heroand one of Donald Trumps favorite whipping boysfor overseeing the Russia investigation. But Rosensteins legacy at the Justice Department shows he was more than happy to oblige the White House on one of its top priorities: spearheading the presidents war on leakers and whistleblowers. Cases involving the leak of prosecutions under Rosenstein in just two years shows how aggressively he pursued cases. In his final week in office, the Justice Department charged former intelligence analyst U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which tracks prosecutions on behalf of…

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Trump turns on Fox News over 2020 coverage: ‘What’s going on there?’

President criticized Fox News at a rally on Monday for giving Democrats airtime after candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared on the channel Anyone watching Donald Fox News. The rightwing cable network is a well-known Trump cheerleader. Literally: in November Fox News host Sean Hannity Pennsylvania. Someones going to have to explain the whole Fox deal to me. Some of the crowd booed, a sort of Pavlovian response to Trump criticizing something or someone. But others looked confused. Could Trump really be attacking Fox News? He was. Specifically it was the appearance…

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San Francisco politicians champion civil liberties – but back police raid on journalist

After authorities seize reporters notes, Democratic leaders say they support the raid and decline to address press freedom concerns San Francisco politicians pride themselves on defending civil liberties in the face of unprecedented attacks by the White House. But when a Donald Trump-style crackdown on citizens rights took place in their own backyard, the citys Democratic leaders had a different kind of response. They supported it. San Francisco police (SFPD) uncover a police leak to the reporter. The states newspapers, along with first amendment advocates across the US, have decried…

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Fresh faces on stage at the TV industry’s upfronts this week

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. Brian Lowry emails: NBC’s three-year renewal of “This is Us” was one of the highlights of the network’s upfront announcement on Sunday, in advance of the formal presentation at Radio City on Monday. NBC called the deal “unprecedented” — which it isn’t, as anyone who remembers “Lost” can attest — but it IS emblematic of what’s become a play-it-safe approach, where stability is prized above all… >>…

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