Axios Watch: The Most Biased And Inane Items Of The Week

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Will Ricciardella Social Media Strategist and Politics Writer
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Every morning, Mike Allen’s Axios newsletter is emailed to thousands of people across D.C. and beyond. And every weekend, The Daily Caller News Foundation searches for the most hysterical and insane examples of bias.

From referring to President Donald Trump as a “naughty child,” to trying to blame the Google memo on none other than the president himself, Axios succeeds in making my job easier.

Below is a list of the most egregious examples from the past week:

1. I’m not shocked that you’ve referred to Donald Trump as a “naughty child” before. We get it, you don’t like his tweets. Unfortunately, a lot of America did and that’s why he’s president.

We’ve written before about how advisers talk openly about Trump as if he were a naughty child. They have tried giving Trump “better choices” for tweeting by trying to distract him with something more substantive, but those efforts never took during the campaign or during the first 200 days (tomorrow!) of the administration.

2. Call me crazy, but that might be because Donald Trump literally IS the boss

The more stories about how Kelly is reining in Trump, restraining Trump, controlling Trump, … the more likely Trump is to rebel against his minder, regardless of the initial deference he has shown. Trump loves his generals, but guarantee you he still sees himself as the boss [empahsis mine].

3. The “Google bro?” Calling him a bro dismisses his argument entirely. Moreover he’s a Harvard educated, Silicon Valley engineer. He wears a t-shirt and lives in California. Aren’t we supposed to worship that type of elitism nowadays? Zuck for POTUS, right? 

The Google bro’s memo wasn’t far off on at least one point: Axios’ Kia Kokalitcheva reports from S.F. that Google has little to show for the $265 million spent since 2014 on recruiting a more diverse workforce.

4. This is fascinating: Axios explicitly claims Trump’s remarks on North Korea are “counterproductive,” assumes that there is a solid argument that Kim Jung-un can be trusted with nukes, then assumes Trump’s remarks might actually be productive. You know what they say about assumptions?

 “Potus’s words (fire and fury) [were] counterproductive as it will raise doubts around the world and at home about his handling of the situation when all the attention and criticism ought to be placed on NK.”

“But Kim Jong-un is playing a dangerous game, as his words will add fuel to the argument here and elsewhere that he cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons and that deterrence cannot be assumed to work here.”

“I assume Potus’s words were meant to signal NK and others that NK’s bluster would not succeed in getting the US to back off its effort to isolate NK and pressure it to change course on its missile program.”

5. Even The Atlantic acknowledged the Google memo wasn’t an “anti-diversity” “screed.” But hey, why should Axios pass up the chance to frame it as such and then blame it on Donald Trump? 

The conversation ahead … N.Y. Times’ Nick Wingfield reports on the front page (“Rising Dissent From the Right In Silicon Valley”): “The culture wars that have consumed politics in the United States have now landed on Silicon Valley’s doorstep.”

“The technology industry has long marched in lock step on issues such as supporting immigration and diversity, even though their companies remained largely male, white and Asian.”

“But last year’s election of Mr. Trump — with his broadsides against political correctness, his coarse language toward women and his actions to restrict immigration and deny climate change — seemed to threaten many of those ideals.”

“At the same time, Mr. Trump’s words may have made dissenters in the tech industry more comfortable about speaking out.”

6. To Axios, the “outside experts” commenting on the Trump-Russia probe are one Democratic lawyer at NYU and a former Obama employee that now works for MSNBC. Thank you, Axios. You make my job so easy. 

1 Big Thing: Trump’s Legal Team Maneuvering 

Outside experts say the shift is both revealing and necessary: Robert Bauer — a top Democratic lawyer who has written extensively about the Russia probe from his perch at NYU Law School, where he now teaches political law and splits time with his D.C. practice — said Trump lawyers are “in somewhat of a retreat following disclosures in the press.”

Bauer: “First the line was that he knew nothing at all; now it is that he had limited knowledge. The former position did not hold under pressure and the latter only raises the question: ‘What did he know and when did he know it?'”

Matt Miller, an MSNBC contributor and former Obama Justice Department official: “They have to tell the truth not just because it’s the right legal strategy, … but also because [lying] makes the legal situation worse.”

7. Oh no! government isn’t imposing arbitrary penalties on businesses anymore! But hey, Wall Street did pay $150 billion in fines for the credit crisis after government forced them to give out subprime loans. 

“Wall Street regulators have imposed far lower penalties in the first six months of Donald Trump’s presidency than they did during the first six months of 2016,” according to a Wall Street Journal front-pager sure to (rightfully so) become an instant talking point for Dems:

A more “business-friendly stance at regulatory agencies in the Trump administration is one of several reasons … Other factors include delays resulting from the change in administrations and the winding down of cases from the financial crisis.”

Why it matters: Regulators are “on track for the lowest annual level of fines since at least 2010.”

P.S. Glass half full … Lead story of Financial Times: “Financial institutions have paid more than $150bn in fines in the US relating to the credit crisis, passing a significant milestone a decade after it became clear American subprime woes had become a global problem.” (Subscription)

8. Thank goodness! Trump’s competent and capable choices for personnel to surround himself with are going to save the country from Trump’s inability to make competent and capable choices as commander in chief. By doing exactly what any presidential adviser is supposed to do.

1 Big Thing: The Committee To Save America 

Here’s one of the most intriguing — and consequential — theories circulating inside the White House: The generals, the New Yorkers and Republican congressional leaders see themselves as an unofficial committee to protect Trump and the nation from disaster.

This loose alliance is informal. But as one top official told me: “If you see a guy about to stab someone with a knife, you don’t need to huddle to decide to grab the knife.”This crowd is highly skilled at communicating with the president (using visuals and grand positioning) to refine or moderate “America first” provocations. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is also very involved, helping demand a process where POTUS has all the information to make domestic and international economic decisions.

9. Mayors are angry that Donald Trump will not do their jobs for them. No, really. After the first eight examples, are you really going to doubt me on this one?

1 Big Thing: With D.C. AWOL, Mayors Improvise

Faced with persistent problems, they have no choice but to attack a lot of things a dysfunctional federal government can’t or won’t.

This includes global warming, homeland security and the exploding opioid crisis — three things better attacked broadly at the federal level.

Some of the nation’s leading mayors told me that they’re giving up on Washington for many of their needs. This has forced new creativity, often turning to philanthropies and big corporations, to help fund their plans.

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Will Ricciardella