LBN – Special Report Thursday – March 2, 2017

Press coverage of Trump in first month of office: 88 percent ‘hostile,’ says new study:

There was no press honeymoon for President Trump during his first month in office. A new study by the Media Research Center finds that 88 percent of the broadcast news coverage of Mr. Trump and his team was “hostile” during the first 30 days of office.The coverage was intense and plentiful. The study, which analyzed both tone and content for evening newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS, found that the “Big Three” networks produced 16 hours of coverage on the new president and his staff. That is over half — 54 percent — of their total coverage for the month. “Our measure of media tone excludes soundbites from identified partisans, focusing instead on tallying the evaluative statements made by reporters and the nonpartisan talking heads (experts and average citizens) included in their stories,” writes Rich Noyes, research director for the conservative press watchdog.

Trump Picks Putin Critic for Top Role:

The White House has chosen Fiona Hill, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and a fierce critic of Russian PresidentVladmir Putin, to be its senior director for Europe and Asia. The choice of Hill for the role is likely an attempt on the part of the White House to push back against allegations that President Donald Trump is too cozy with Putin and Russia, and comes amid reports of top Trump campaign officials’ contacts with senior Kremlin officials. In her writings, Hill has warned of Putin’s desire to “weaken” the U.S. presidency, and in 2013 she said his experience as a KGB agent would lead him toward authoritarian tendencies.

U.S. Carries Out More Strikes in Yemen to Target al Qaeda:

The U.S. military has reportedly carried out more airstrikes in Yemen that are intended to target al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters, two American officials told Reuters on Thursday. One of the world’s most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, works with AQAP. The group has been a known concern to U.S. officials since it allegedly targeted a Detroit-bound airplane on Christmas Day in 2009. The recent strikes are likely the first operations since a controversial January raid by U.S. commandos that killed civilians and a Navy SEAL. A U.S. aircraft was also lost in the January attack. President Trump told Congress this week that the raid had provided the U.S. with valuable intelligence, but other reports, citing top military officials, have contradicted those claims.

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Abuse Victim Quits Vatican Commission, Citing ‘Resistance’: 

A high-profile member of a commission advising PopeFrancis on ways to protect minors from sexual abuse by the clergy resigned from the panel on Wednesday, citing what she called “cultural resistance” from the Vatican. Marie Collins, who was molested by a priest in Ireland when she was 13, expressed frustration over what she called reluctance among the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy to implement the commission’s recommendations — even those approved by the pope. “I feel I have no choice but to resign if I am to retain my integrity,” Ms. Collins said in a statement to National Catholic Reporter. The lack of action, she wrote, “is a reflection of how this whole abuse crisis in the church has been handled: with fine words in public and contrary actions behind closed doors.”

Ben Carson Confirmed as HUD Secretary:

Retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was confirmed Thursday to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development by a 58-41 vote in the Senate. Carson’s nomination was unanimously sent out of committee and some Democrats, including Mark Warner of Virginia, flipped sides to vote in favor of confirmation on Thursday. During his hearing, Carson famously hesitated to pledge that he’d prevent taxpayer money from going to Trump-run businesses.

WHO READS LBN? Legendary comedy agent Danny Robinson

7 Baltimore Cops Accused of Robbing Residents:

Seven Baltimore police officers are accused of robbing and extorting as much as $200,000 from residents, prosecutors said Wednesday. The officers were arrested and now facefederal racketeering charges. “These are really simply robberies by people wearing police uniforms,” U.S. AttorneyRod Rosenstein said at a press conference. The officers allegedly stole drugs, firearms, and cash ranging from $200 to $2,000 from victims, some of whom were just ordinary residents who had not committed any crimes. Rosenstein said the arrests were the result of an investigation that began a year ago that stemmed from a DEA probe into drug trafficking. The officers, all members of a gun-crime unit in 2015 and 2016, were allegedly committing the crimes as the city endured rioting and media scrutiny after the death of a black man in police custody in April 2015. They face as much as 20 years behind bars.


Beau Biden’s widow having affair with his brother:

The widow of Joe Biden’s late son Beau Biden has started a romantic relationship with Beau’s brother Hunter Biden, theformer vice president’s younger son. Hallie was devastated when her husband, Beau, died after suffering from brain cancer in May 2015. But she has since struck up a romance with Beau’s brother Hunter, 47, who has separated from his wife, Kathleen. We’re told Hallie and Hunter are now officially a couple. The astonishing family drama caps a difficult period for the Bidens following the death of Beau at age 46. The former vice president cited the death of his elder son as one of the reasons he decided in October 2015 against running for president. Former Vice President Biden confirmed the relationship and said that he and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, have given their blessing to the couple.

LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***Tina Brown has some secrets tospill. The British-born author and magazine editor has a deal with Henry Holt and Co. to publish the diaries she kept during her years running Vanity Fair, the publisher told The Associated Press. “The Vanity Fair Dairies” comes out in November. Brown was editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair from 1984 to 1992, when the magazine covered the fall of Princess Diana’s marriage toPrince Charles, among other news, and published such headline-making covers as the one of a naked, pregnant Demi Moore. Brown’s diaries also touch upon her marriage to journalist and publisher Harry Evans and her “battles in the boys club” of publisher Conde Nast.

LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Dr. Phil is on the move. Phil McGraw has left WME and signed with UTA in all areas. The move comes as Dr. Phil — which McGraw hosts and exec produces — ranks as daytime TV’s No. 1 show. UTA managing director Jay Sures will lead a team of agents overseeing McGraw’s work in television, music, licensing and endorsements as well as digital media and business development, among other areas.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “Without Notes” with Isabella Sinclaire – Episode 3: Creating a Brand – The revealing TV interview show with the world’s most famous dominatrix

LBN-COMMENTARY by Lizzie Crocker: Let’s talk about the “bra strap” dress that Ivanka Trump wore to her father’s first address to a joint session of Congress last night, a pink, one-shouldered number reportedly by French designer Roland Mouret.  Its boudoir-ish black strap was meant to look like a bra strap, of course, and it heightened the sex appeal of Ivanka’s bare-shoulder look, which was perhaps better suited for date night than a speech in Congress. It was an unconventional choice for such a serious occasion, which made it all the more un-Ivanka. Since moving to Washington, she’s glammed it up for black-tie affairs like the Governors Ball and the Alfalfa Dinner, but has otherwise dressed on the conservative side, particularly for meetings and appearances alongside her father. This is in keeping with the old Ivanka—the #WomenWhoWork entrepreneur whose own fashion line bills itself as “appropriately sexy.”

LBN-COMMENTARY by Gloria Steinem: I was on a flight from New York to Seattle recently when a long delay on the tarmac prompted the airline to offer us a free movie. As the flight attendant read the choices aloud, a young man across the aisle said, “I don’t watch chick flicks!”I knew what he meant, and so did the woman sitting next to me. A “chick flick” is one that has more dialogue than car chases, more relationships than special effects, and whose suspense comes more from how people live than from how they get killed. I wasn’t challenging his preference, but I did question the logic of his term. After all, much of what we read as great literature in school may well have been called “chick lit,” especially if it had been written by women.Think about it: If “Anna Karenina” had been by Leah Tolstoy, or “The Scarlet Letter” by Nancy Hawthorne or “A Doll’s House” by Henrietta Ibsen — if “The Invisible Man” had been “The Invisible Woman” — would they have been hailed as classics? Suppose Shakespeare had really been the Dark Lady who some people still think he/she was. I bet most of her plays and all of her sonnets would have been dismissed as ye olde Elizabethan chick lit and buried until they were resurrected by stubborn feminist scholars of today.

LBN COMMENTARY by Larry Grobel (author): What book has influenced your life professionally or personally? “3 books greatly influenced my decision to be a writer. Martin Eden, by Jack London; Ulysses,by James Joyce; and The Ginger Man, by J.P. Donleavy. Each book reached me at critical moments in time, and gave me a glimpse about the power of fiction and how words could open up worlds.”

LBN-COMMENTARY by Neil Irwin: The stock market reached yet another new high on Wednesday, the latest development to make a mockery of what savvy economic commentators thought they knew about the world. Consider how things looked one year ago. The world economy seemed hopelessly trapped in a cycle of low growth and inflation. Markets recoiled at the mere possibility that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. Populist political insurgencies seemed to threaten yet more financial market chaos. Now, interest rates and inflation forecasts have risen substantially from last winter’s lows; financial markets are shrugging off — or even rallying at the possibility of — imminent Fed rate increases; and it is all taking place during Donald J. Trump’s presidency. An economy that seemed locked in some form of “secular stagnation” or “new normal” is at long last showing some signs of being in something closer to an “old normal.” The United States manufacturing sector is showing strength, and the broader mix of market and economic data from around the world in the last few months also points to a world where a vicious economic cycle isn’t looking quite as scary and may even be ending.


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***After sharing five-plus years of their lives together, Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp are not on good terms. The former couple dated from 2011 to August 2014, breaking up for two months before rekindling their romance. Unfortunately, they called it quits for good in 2015. During an interview with SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show Wednesday, Mellencamp confessed that he and Ryan no longer keep in touch. “Oh, women hate me. I loved Meg Ryan,” Mellencamp shared. “She hates me to death.”   ***The plot thickens for the bonehead bean-counters behind the Oscars Best Picture debacle, as death threats have forced them to get bodyguards, according to a report. Brian Cullinan, the PricewaterhouseCoopers partner who handed presenter Warren Beatty the wrong envelope for Best Picture, and his PwC cohort Martha Ruiz have been inundated by threats and online abuse, TMZ reported. Among the social media threats: “You f—–g idiot, i will f–k you every day” and “I hope you get fired and get cancer,” the site reported. Sources at the firm told TMZ that photos that emerged online of the beleaguered pair’s homes made it clear that some hired muscle was needed.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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