Politico Watch: The Most Biased Items Of The Week

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Will Ricciardella Social Media Strategist and Politics Writer
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The Daily Caller News Foundation has compiled a weekly list of examples exposing bias in Politico’s daily emailed newsletter that briefs subscribers on the most important news of the day.

This week, Politico Playbook’s writers, Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman, and Daniel Lippman highlighted quotes claiming former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus’ firing was due to President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to listen or learn, Trump’s election victory gave legitimacy to a known racist, and characterizing Jeff Sessions’ defense of religious liberty as “rolling back” gay rights.

Below are the most egregious examples from the past week:

1. Here’s a radical idea: maybe, just maybe Priebus wasn’t a very good chief of staff, and it wasn’t all Trump’s fault. 

TODD PURDUM on “Why Priebus was destined to fail:” “On paper, Reince Priebus was a logical chief of staff for Donald Trump, an experienced inside player who could help the biggest outsider who ever won the presidency navigate the complex byways of Washington, Congress and national politics. But their teaming only made sense if the new president was willing to listen – and learn. …”

2. Because if you don’t vote Democrat, you were obviously seduced by racial hatred much to the enjoyment of racists everywhere. That’s obviously sarcasm. More obvious to some than others, sadly.

“He Spent Almost 20 Years Funding The Racist Right. It Finally Paid Off,” by BuzzFeed’s Aram Roston: “William Regnery II, a man who inherited millions but struggled in business, tried for 15 years to ignite a racist political movement — and failed. Then an unforeseen phenomenon named Donald Trump gave legitimacy to what Regnery had seeded long before: the alt-right. Now, the press-shy white separatist breaks his silence.”

3. It’s “centrist” to fix a healthcare bill that was passed in 2010 to fix healthcare. Just throw more money at it. Repeal it? What are you some kind of extremist?!

A BLINK OF BIPARTISANSHIP — THE LATEST ON HEALTH CARE — “Centrist lawmakers plot bipartisan health care stabilization bill,” by Heather Caygle and Paul Demko: “A coalition of roughly 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to unveil a slate of Obamacare fixes [emphasis mine] Monday they hope will gain traction after the Senate’s effort to repeal the law imploded. The Problem Solvers caucus, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is fronting the effort to stabilize the ACA markets, according to multiple sources. But other centrist members, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and several other lawmakers from the New Democrat Coalition and the GOP’s moderate Tuesday Group are also involved.”

“Their plan focuses on immediately stabilizing the insurance market and then pushing for Obamacare changes that have received bipartisan backing in the past. The most significant proposal is funding [emphasis mine] for Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies. Insurers rely on these payments – estimated to be $7 billion this year – to reduce out-of-pocket costs for their poorest Obamacare customers.”

“…The problem, though, is conservative Republicans [emphasis mine] want the law gutted. But if enough middle-of-the-road lawmakers band together for changes, it could marginalize the wings.

4. Politico’s Annie Karni: What’s going on?! Trump’s supposed to hate women! Gee Annie, any way you and the rest of the media could’ve been wrong all along? Crazy, right?

F YOU READ ONE THING — ANNIE KARNI: “In Trump’s White House, the women are the survivors:” “Kellyanne Conway’s office has a different vibe than other corners of the West Wing. Unlike some of the drab work spaces belonging to her male counterparts, whose offices look as impersonal as the day they moved in, Conway’s office is decorated with colorfully framed, oversized family photos mounted on the walls and a copy of Ivanka Trump’s book ‘Women Who Work’ prominently on display. The comfy digs are a sign that Conway, the White House counselor who recently has been keeping a lower profile, is planning on being here for the long haul — even though some of her colleagues, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and recently departed chief of staff Reince Priebus, have at times tried to cut her out of the information loop.”

“Meanwhile, former colleagues like Priebus, Anthony Scaramucci, Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Michael Dubke, Michael Short and Boris Epshteyn have been fired, or simply resigned to save themselves. Even Bannon, according to multiple people close to President Donald Trump, has been the target of the president’s recent frustrations and anger, and he has been trying to lower his genius-behind-the-throne profile in order to avoid sharing Priebus’ unhappy fate. Conway, however, is not alone in surviving the snakepit. The quiet endurers of Trump’s tumultuous White House, by and large, are the women who serve in his administration [emphasis mine]. That fact that may seem ironic in an administration run by a man who has launched sexist attacks on everyone from morning show host Mika Brzezinski to his former campaign opponent Hillary Clinton — and who in the past has been accused by more than a dozen women of groping or kissing them against their will.”

5. Obamacare is going into a tailspin of its own, throwing money at a failing law isn’t a solution, it IS the problem.

“Republicans in Congress Bypass Trump to Shore Up Health Law” by Robert Pear and Tomas Kaplan: “In the House, two Republicans, Representatives Tom Reed of New York and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, teamed with Democrats to promote incremental health legislation that would also fund the cost-sharing subsidies. The moves were a remarkable response to the president’s repeated threats to send health insurance markets into a tailspin [emphasis mine]. They offered tangible indications of cooperation between the parties after Republican efforts to scrap the Affordable Care Act collapsed in the Senate last week, all but ending the seven-year Republican quest to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. Lawmakers from both parties concede that the health law needs improvement, as consumers face sharp premium increases and a shrinking number of insurance options in many states.”

6. Without the EPA issuing regulations, infants will be exposed to neurotoxins! No, really. That’s what the blurb alludes to. 

“Senior [EPA] official quits, decrying ‘triumph of myth over truth,'” by E&E’s Ariel Wittenberg: “Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Southerland worked at EPA for 30 years, most recently directing the Office of Water’s Office of Science and Technology. Southerland slammed Pruitt’s EPA for launching a ‘repeal, replace, modify initiative’ for regulations. … She also described President Trump’s executive order requiring that agencies repeal two regulations for every new one as ‘a real Sophie’s choice for public health agencies like EPA.’ She said, ‘Should EPA repeal two existing rules protecting infants from neurotoxins in order to promulgate a new rule protecting adults from a newly discovered liver toxin?’[emphasis mine] … “ Her exit memo

7. It’s a temporary “ban” or a moratorium on travel from Muslim-majority countries. So close!

TRUMP’S WASHINGTON — NYT A1, “Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half,” by Peter Baker: “President Trump embraced a proposal on Wednesday to slash legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade by sharply curtailing the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country. The plan would enact the most far-reaching changes to the system of legal immigration in decades and represents the president’s latest effort to stem the flow of newcomers to the United States. Since taking office, he has barred many visitors from select Muslim-majority countries (emphasis mine], limited the influx of refugees, increased immigration arrests and pressed to build a wall along the southern border.”

8. And in reality conservatives oppose civil asset forfeiture, and the DOJ protecting religious liberties isn’t rolling back “gay rights,” it’s still protecting religious liberty. 

AT MAIN JUSTICE — “Justice Dept., Under Siege From Trump, Plows Ahead With His Agenda,” by NYT’s Rebecca Ruiz: … “‘Sessions as attorney general has been everything conservatives could have dreamed of [emphasis mine] and liberals could have feared,’ said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.”

In the last six months, the attorney general has rolled back Obama-era policies on gay rights [emphasis mine], voting rights, and criminal justice and police reform while advancing his own fight against drugs, gangs and violent crime. … Mr. Sessions has mandated that prosecutors be as tough as possible in charging and sentencing all crimes, including drug offenses that carry stiff mandatory minimum prison sentences. He has expanded the ability of the police to seize people’s assets [emphasis mine], irrespective of whether they may have been convicted of a crime or even charged. And as he presses a hard-line immigration agenda, he has dispatched additional federal prosecutors to border districts to prosecute immigration cases and has ordered cities and states to fall in line with federal immigration authorities or else face cuts in federal funding.”

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Will Ricciardella