Administration Reviewing Draft Plan to Fast-track Deportations

Non-Credible Fear of Persecution in home nation may not be enough for migrants without documents to remain in the United States









By: JEFF KOOPERSMITH, Editor Emeritus, American Politics Journal


So, here we go.

Last week the “fake” news toads began a rumor that the Trump Administration plans to arrest immigrants without proper permission using the military, and specifically the Army Reserve.  Thus, far the Administration has denied this, and use of more than local police would depend on the numbers and the speedometer – How many in what length of time?

The latest Department of Homeland Security has prepared, as of last week, guidance for immigration agents. They are based on the premise that deportations will be accelerated by refuting claims that meet the asylum tests now in force. These guidelines have not been approved by the President or DHL officials.

Thus far, definitions and other criteria such as, family who are citizens, has not been include in these guidelines.  Thus, for now the migrant may be subject to personal or idiosyncratic decisions when making the first presentation of their fear of persecution if deported to their home country.

Very supple and perhaps far too plastic interpretations that would lead to quick or immediate denial of applications based on asylum claims by agents not qualified as judges nor qualified by seniority precedence or years of service in this arena.  In any case, the guidelines still allow for a sort of undefined judicial “hearing” before actual deportation upon agent refusal.

This wide discretion is feared by immigration lawyers who, of course, would prefer any pleading of persecution be immediately placed on a docket for trial on the evidence or either side, or perhaps because the immigrant has either been charged of committing a crime, or convicted of same. Already news sources report migrants without documents who are simply charged have already been deported by the DHS or assigns.

A full hearing and arguments before a judge or jury would take years as of now because of large backlogs, and lack of judges, so many of whom have not been seated because they were tapped by the Obama Administration.

In addition, the guidelines include a call of funding and allocating as many as eight thousand new beds for migrant containment while awaiting such judicial action.  The new beds could very be in prisons around the nation, or in other facilities most likely managed by private companies who now provide prisons for convicted felons.

Additionally, the memos or guidelines contain for the rapid hire of 10,000 more ICE agents, and 5,000 more border patrol agents which could cost as much as $1 billion a year at salaries approaching a mean of close to $40,000 dollars annually for the total fifteen thousand new agents and border guards, equipment, and supervision, etc.

Worse for the migrant is that even before these guidelines, only 18% of those emigrants claiming fear of persecution or worse were approved. More than 90% were denied.

Secretary John Kelly has issued only two “draft” memos at this time and the Administration in yet reviewing and most probably measuring public reaction from news sources and comments by other agencies and professional individuals working with or counter to immigrant populations.

President Trump has promised in multiple speeches and public appearances to be tough on illegal immigration and some experts believe that simply just the charge of a crime (arrest) would be enough to deport. 

In essence, anyone not documented and remaining in the United States beyond his or her tourist visa or other legal or illegal border crossing would be guilty of at least a charge even before appearing formally before an agent, or anyone else, asking for asylum.

Under this alleged test of “Credible Fear” there must be a provable or perhaps demonstrable and well-founded fear of persecution from race, religion, nationality, group membership, or political and perhaps journalistic opinion.

When a plea for asylum is made first at the border or at some detention facility. Most claiming such fear are approved at somewhere beteween 85 and 90 percent of the time per USCIS data between the autumn of 2015 and spring of 2016. Those who earned the right to go to court on the matter rose from approximately 14,000 in 2011 to more than 34,000 as of 2015. Lawyers who specialize in these cases know that asylum agents will be careful not to deny pleas for asylum and refer a majority of cases to judge.

According to Reuters, President Trumps directive(s) call for expeditious handling and prompt deportation upon rejection or court denial.

The current increase in deportations and an increase now may stress already congested detention facilities and increased problems transporting them from one appearance to another.

The increase in beds for claimants (8,000) would help end the “catch and release” action where asylum seekers are freed pending their court hearing.

Rumor has it that DHS might expand agreements with private prison purveyors like GEO and Core Civic holding most immigrant detainees now.

The Trump White House worries that asylum aspirants can ask to plead before judges for other cause like family ties, children born in the United States who are citizens from birth and other complex situations.


President Bush and President Obama must Offer hands in aide for President Trump

By: Jeff Koopersmith, Editor Emeritus – American Politics Journal

WASHINGTON 16 FEBRUARY 2017 – President Trump has won, and been certified as President of these United States.

I think it is time that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reach out and offer a hand to our new President who certainly needs operational and human resources expertise badly. President Trump is a big businessman, not a natural and wizened politician or policy maker in the sense of the presidency –and he should not be expected to be such.  He is a 70-year-old man who is wise in many related things and in touch with leaders on both sides of the aisle.

He needs our help.

It is difficult for any man or woman to ask for help at the times they really do need this help.  It is time for humility and fellowship among our leaders.

This is also true for the myriad chiefs that must deliver operational government and complex human resources available to President Trump without interference in the policies he was elected on.

The men and women in the White House now and the secretaries in some Departments are doing fine jobs, and most likely have it easier in organizational and operational tracks using the talents of career staff that has not left and-or  retired.

It is not at all unusual for Republicans and Democrats to help any new president – and not just the first week or two, but for months – perhaps even the first year.

I know that both Barack Obama and George W. Bush are the kind of men who would bring not only some operational and human resources suggestions but also their tested “bodies” who could work for a relatively short time to get this new White House and its middle staff more comfortable with aide from people who have gone through decades of these types of adjustments.

As someone who lived and worked in Washington for more than 40 years and written about it in tough terms for more than twenty years, I think that these are the major problems we see. I worked the White House and Congress about policy for years, but it was also the people that get things done properly that were highly important within those departmental and governmental offices.

The White house is not only a centerpiece of our nation, but also an important center of the free world.

Since I’ve been alive the transitions from one president to another has been generally smoother than I see today.  It is still early days – but early days filled with very new and perhaps dangerous problems that require attention.

Whether President Trump would like this help is a question. I do not know him, nor the people closest to him. I do know other who were close to former presidents and how important they were and remains to our nation.

What I do know, is that there is more chaos today in the District than the President needs at this time.

And, worse, the rest of the world is worried as well. I have spoken to leading business people in Europe and Asia over this period and they agree that a transition like this – so complex and with such new and different aims and hurdles – makes a difficult situation to prepare aides and staff to deal with.

President Trump should ask for such help, quietly and personally to his peers now alive.

There are few of them now, but many many are very prepared and educated through experience to help him and his minions with the kind of operations needed in a giant Office.

The Office of the Presidency not only sees to our safety but touches almost everything in our lives.  The White House and it’s Departments and the Pentagon involves tens of thousands of high level federal employees – as many as 50,000 people who in fact work for the President directly or indirectly.

So, it is time for the Media to examine and suggest this kind of solution rather than only looking for juicy stories, or hard to solve problems such as this White House faces.

I believe that President Bush and President Obama, and yes, President Bill Clinton and others would be happy to pitch in and help put things in order for the very reason that the President must carry out his goals aspirations which he explained to voters over the previous 18 months during thepresidential and congressional  election cycle.

Things like this happen in business as well – but never at this volume and responsibilities not only nationally but worldwide.

Yes, perhaps those leaders confirmed and able will, in time, prove great value to our nation, but there is little time left for things to not go wrong without, and with no particular fault.

This is not a war any longer between two competing parties.

This is a time to step back and think, pray, and come to our senses – support our new president in the most difficult of periods to lay the functional  foundations that will make his job not only easier but also a finely designed machine to carry out the aims and hopes of the President and the Congress which the President must approve and the rest of us benefit from.

The little power grabs, unnecessary witch hunts, various plot flexors and other shots  that only enjoy hand to hand combat rather than hand IN hand aid.

It is not only leaks that trouble our nation – it is also loud and frightening squeaks in the gears and pedals of  stewardship.

Take heart, and urge those who know how to help with developing this well oiled machine to do so with no political gain

Government must operate at these higher levels, but at the same time not interfere with perhaps the most complex policy and opinion changes that were ordered by the voters in the 2017 election this past November, and special delivery to this new government and its loyal opposition.

The White House – The Only Items Worth Reporting?

For American Politics Journal



Of course President Trump enjoys some TV spotlights, but after almost three weeks I think it’s time to let the White House settle down, and the staff to settle in.

The time spent By the major broadcast, television, cable, and even public radio is unimaginable on topics such as ‘defending your daughter Ivanka’s clothing lines to whether Steve Bannon is a Leninist or Marxist who has hypnotized all the Trumpsters into believing he is the second coming or at some God or another.

While I agreed last week with Steve Bannon regarding the press “keeping its mouth shut” – for the first time our servers were hacked removing that long piece and media. It is back up today and I point this out only to alert you on just how crazy things have become in the mega and micro media world. How two different hackers found there way into our server is beyond me but i am no outsider and I informed the appropriate officials about the hack – a felony. I pray it did not emanate from the White House but since it agreed with Bannon that the press should lay off just a bit, I wonder – is this a liberal hacker – attacking American Politics Journal – which often publishers orchid pieces about liberals, but too much time not only speaking up for Trump during this cycle, but responsible for more than 40 million hits from our people attacking the Creepy line up of wannabees like Little Marco and Lyin Ted Cruz during the laughable GOP “vote off” with nigh on 25 contenders most of whom proved they were not even close to beating Trump for the GOP nod. I am both happy and sad that some of the President’s appointments include his attackers during the primary. I am saddened to see Senator Ted Cruz emerge once again from his dumpster to lies to foist even more on what is left of his adoring voter entourage.

This week has largely been spent attacking Trump for daring to call a federal judge out on his reluctance to support Trump’s actions regarding the damming of some entrances to this nation from citizens of 7 nations that have majority or even super majority Muslim believers – not Muslim terrorists.  However Trump asserts that he chose these 7 countries from a list of trouble-maker nations from the Obama Administration. I have heard no denial from former President Obama’s likely talking heads on the matter – but I do remain concerned about the public belief that the Gulf states were not on that list although the majority of the 911 hijacker-murderers were from those states.

What’s more annoying is that the biggest anti-trump news sources only talk about some idea that no terrorists have come to the United STates from the seven nations that the White House ordered be put on a hold until some vetting process can be established in those countries – which seems improbable in some cases since several are at war with each other or Isis or threatening Israel more than usual.

The fact the idiots at Nordstrom deciding to ditch Ivanka’s clothing lines for lack of sales was poorly timed as well – so I suppose now we will see retailers who have little hope of outlasting Amazon et al, on the charge against the Trump family. He Dad the President, felt badly about this, and hawked a little against the retail chain,  I think if my daughter was attacked financially by another business I might lose it – and say similar or worse things about Nordstrom.

We then witness the all-night vigils of NBC and CNN with regard the Billionairess Ms Devos Secretary of Education confirmation in the Senate – well of course she was going to win! – there was no doubt whatsoever –  and so she did – and the clone funeraria from the similar left-charged media sources  for Senator Sessions (my favorite Keebler Elf, and now Attorney General of the United States.  So all that brouhaha for nothing – it was in the bag!  The only thing new was that Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaker! (the first in history).

Meanwhile things seem to be theatrically heating up in Iran as President Trump put them on notice and penalized some of the more powerful of Iranians because of their continued support of terrorism in the region and probably because the White House feels they jammed us on the nuke deal made handsomely by former the former Obama-appointed Secretary of State.

I think perhaps one of the more left media sources mentioned the normal blow up in the House of Commons where a motion (or something) was shouted from the liberals to disallow President Trump to speak to them, although I can’t imagine what they think he would say since he was all over the “special relationship” we have with London and the old “Empire”.

The Chinese were not too happy either about some verbal abuse from the Administration about its interest in, and completion of,  building a couple of Fantasy Islands in the South China Sea to show Asia “Who’s the Boss”-  like a dog peeing on a Hillary for President sign,

Young Kim Un was also upset about some remark or other by Sen. McCain and whoever about his messing with nukes again and perhaps secretly building and underground nuclear device factory in North Korea or instead nuking San Francisco just to show us that he might be young but carried a big load.

Ah, and lest I forget the horror of Judge Gorsuch saying he was disheartened by attacks on the judiciary, which now seems to be ALL attacks on the judiciary, but was, this afternoon – a Trump attack on that Judge that stopped him in his tracks re Arab nations with Muslim citizens.  The only thing worse – that I see that the pop-up former Senator, cum presidential candidate, sum what the heck does he do in off-cycle years –  Rick Santorum (named after some papal hideaway) is now a “CNN Contributor which I guess means he has no salary only a lesser or greater per-appearance or green-room sitting – check for Time Warner.

Seriously folks – it doesn’t appear that Democrat hopes to impeach Donald Trump will come to fruition yet – and the President hasn’t even flown to Moscow as quickly as they hoped so they could hang a Lenin-Marx medal on his neck like was done to Poor Old “Commie” Senator Bernie Sanders.

Frankly I am tiring of the whole thing, and worrying that someone, somewhere is pulling a gag on us. If not, let’s stop all the silliness and leash up the media apes who live to get 20 seconds on Cable news putting down a man for going to Yale for 8 or 11 years.

Enough, is enough.

Steve Bannon may be correct – “Media Should Keep Its Mouth Shut



for American Politics Journal           


February 9, 2017

Michael Grynbaum of the New Times wrote an interesting piece last week about former Breitbart publisher Steve Bannon who is now Chief Strategist for President Donald Trump which in and of itself raised eyebrows of the most familiar media Americans.

Bannon suggested that the ‘Media should keep its mouth shut’ because it either seemed to misunderstand their role, or just could not explain the nature of President Trump’s win on election day in November.

What Bannon alleged is true, but another salient question might be whether Stephen Bannon in fact despises most media because they have, I argue, followed Roger Ailes’ method of running their own national news organizations. Take Fox News that, instead of delivering straight facts about actions of interest to viewers, brings what I call “cable chatter” in the guise of “entertainment” posing as news that after almost two decades has noticeably and quickly became propaganda for the things that Mr. Aisles appropriated shortly after leaving the Reagan White House – That the use of propaganda aimed at a spinning but not-yet-unified group of Americans was essential to attract a large enough viewership to commercially support a large cable television news network now owned by Rupert Murdoch of Britain and others.

Murdoch seemed to do very well in Europe with a slapstick style of what some called yellow electronic and print journalism akin to America’s National Inquirer which attracted much of the same Jane and John Doe American who were the factual spine of the Nation although not the best educated nor prime breadwinners in the country which, in this case, is made from a slim majority of citizens living in numerous states that do not sit on the East or West Coasts of the United States.

Rodger Ailes could have continued a more relaxed and homey style news channel that Fox first displayed to the nation, but as  former political actor he misguidedly, to my mind, turned Fox News into a 24-7 cheerleading army for conservative and neo-conservative folks and philosophies in an ingenious, though oftentimes spiteful theatrical routine of heavy political and war news rather than news which is important to people who view themselves as part of a nation rather than just part of a city or region where facts/truth are more meaningful – such as the weather, local crime, local politics, and all kinds of need-to-know actualities that real life men, women and children need to know.  Unlike CNN, which preceded Fox’s credibility and reported national and world news on a continual contemporary basis.

Fox was interested in a CNN’s audience as well, but Ailes knew that to break off the Joe and Jane portion of the CNN audience for itself would require a choosing or inventing a different style which he did – using talking heads that chatted merrily with each other, or agonized about some appalling happening that impacted the country – and quite especially – the right-leaning mind.

Fox also hired several emcee-opinion makers like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity to bring a sort of down and dirty approach to policy that Rush Limbaugh brought nationally to talk-radio over many years, along with several facsimiles of himself popping up all around the country to titillate the listening audience with stories of outrageous crime with a racist bent, horrible tragedies, and little by little almost a total focus on national politics from the viewpoint of the more right-wing thinkers than on the left.

Yet was Aisles and Fox’ targets the right, or was it also the ill-educated, needier, white viewers who muddled far too much “the News” with Fox own brand of Reality.

I recall having dinner with a Federal Circuit Justice at his home in Los Angeles who is a well-known middle-of-the-road and brilliant legal mind.  Unquestionably, the eight or ten of us at the table that evening talked about little more than politics and law.  I brought up my regrets about Fox News becoming stronger and, to my mind, more of a more of a propaganda machine for the Republican Party that flaunted the loss of equal time laws that had disappeared over time, and before that, had assured that candidates for elective office would be afforded the same time on radio and television, etc. as their opposition.

This Judge, who must remain nameless, was interested in this problem since it impacted on state, regional and local law often born in communities, not universities or think tanks.  Just after dinner he retired with his wife to his home office and watched Fox News, for perhaps an hour or less and then came into the dining room quite upset at what he had seen. He realized that should this kind of pontification disguised as news could end in the collapse of Democracy or any free society in a relatively short period.

This “equal time” rule came about to better balance news and advertising to keep it from becoming just what was dreaded – a potential 24-hour advertisement posing as a news program selling a specific ideological point of view as the view that is based in fact, whereas any other point of view is either completely false or begging. The rule came from the Supreme Court which labeled the equal time requirement unconstitutional as an abridgement of free speech but also told us that when unfair media treatment via programming or advertising became a threat to Democracy, the Court would “know it when they saw it.”  As it turned out decades later the Court decided in a close decision that money, in fact, was free speech which many today believe is a senseless opinion also linked to the finding that corporations were individuals – the same as a person which I find far more amusing.  In fact, the corporation is a construct to protect the individual – ergo how could it also be an individual.

In fact, for more than twenty years I and a partner, Gene Gaudette of New York and Washington, were the first organization, though small, to publish a daily look at politics from a moderate to left opinion, but still sensitive to argument from the right.  I started writing about politics on the net in the late 1980s and later the Web because I had studied politics and communications for over seven years, and additionally attended law school.  We made no claims we were fair and balanced as does Fox News maintains to this day – but it did so, I believe, to make certain it was not violating local, regional, of national ethics regarding gross monetary expenditures on behalf of political parties and candidates.  Even today this looms a large issue although recent five-four decision in the Supreme Court have clearly opened the gates toward an ability to purchase a government and a country without anyone knowing who, in fact, bought it.

Rodger Ailes, who was as big a spy as he was a professional television genius, almost immediately hired a private investigator to study and badger me personally and people I knew. Roger Ailes made me very aware of his underhandedness even as I continued to mock him for ignoring any ethical conduct toward me or his viewers.  In short email exchanges, he threatened me to use whatever “dirt” he could find on me in the mid-1990s when I began to approach the Federal Election Commission alleging that Aisles and Fox News were engaged in knowingly advertising – not educating or entertaining -people about political issues and candidates, but to make certain that Republicans would prevail in elections or in their legislation efforts.

This was more of a War than I anticipated as Aisles – now exposed as misogynist sex pervert, earlier contacted me – again in writing – to inform he that he found a court order that I was to pay for my son’s expenses after my divorce.  That was another fake news story of his – Of course, I was funding my son’s expenses in partnership with my working wife– his mother – and I had not only supported him by court order re the dissolution of marriage, but also enthused him to private schools and into my home where I raised him as best I could. I am proud how he turned out, but still feel I could have done even better, like most fathers.

I was angry with Ailes and decided to publish what Ailes had done to me, and indirectly to my family through his vicious personal and business campaign to publicly call me senseless and a poor father.  I also knew he was spewing lies about me around the news business although I thought most people in the communications business would know that what I was concerned about was true – Eventually, over time not only was Fox engaged in unsettling propaganda, including vicious lies about politicians and elites, but NBC and CNN had now joined the Fox genre as well – but from the Left to attempt, I suppose, to offset Fox’s unbalanced presentation of what it claimed was news, entertainment, with hours of right wing lectures from Bill O’Reilly and dozens of on air visitors and spokespeople with no balance at all. By the time Fox, NBC, and other radio and television news sources were “in” –the right then began claiming preposterously that the Left – or Socialists run the entire radio and television business, and that it was they who were ‘Hitlerian’ propaganda artists while also claiming Hitler was a Socialist not the madman, racist, and fascist and murderer that he was in truth.

On the Web the growth of hard right “news” sources grew exponentially and certain groups like Politico and Breitbart and dozens, maybe hundreds of so-called news services sprung up – also taking shots from either the right or the left – but in fact earning money from business, contributions, and advertising. We, at American Politics never took a dime for ads in three decades nor did we engage our audience in phony fund-raising practices so common today.

All this continues today in a massive battle between the two prevailing interests in America – the Right and the Left. Or the haves versus the have nots. Or the super-literate vs the illiterate. It is, I guarantee – the Wild West of the business of capturing your mind and pocketbook!

Thus, while I and Steve Bannon complain about the media today, we both were spawned from different flanks but share the truth that no-one today – even the New York Times and the Washington Post, God Bless them – are much more than lying and telling half-truths. They also have many writers in the back pockets of businesses they were raised at, or one or another political persuasion- including religion, gender-based, and who knows what profiteers that demand their viewpoints be adopted by the very news that average citizens rely on.

You see – neither Steve Bannon or I have ever pretended to be fair and balanced –  We tell it like we see from our point of view.

Fox News does the opposite – and seems to think it must trumpet its malarkey for financial interest only, and to pull the wool over your eyes.

There are few reliable news sources any longer – and I must add that it results from the mega-magnitude of this war of words coupled with Internet communication that make everyone a potential commentator and even publisher – but a publisher of what – News or propaganda?

I’d say heavy on the propaganda side for all newspapers and television media from both left and right – but never “News” – and instead a mishmash of lies varied with rudiments of truth mixed with who-knows-what to gain control of your opinions – not to help you make up your mind by independently showing you all sides of and issue or candidate seriously.

So, the current situation is this: Except for relatively small groups of academia, intellectuals, and straight honest citizens we are now drowning in a quagmire that is so complex and confusing that it shakes the very rock of our minds.

This situation is far more dangerous than we can imagine. Certainly, I know this condition can and has resulted in the news media’s reputation falling into the latrine of public perception, along with the credibility of almost all politicians and all levels of government.  Even supporters of “small government” are now worried that state and local government is just as, or more, corrupted by this dance with the media than the national government and political parties.

I wonder though if Steve Bannon, or Bill Maher, or Bill O’Reilly and the colossal and self-same condensed ownership of media worldwide realize what a hellish atmosphere we have all fashioned?

For what we are now, is a world closely built to conform to communication many varieties yet dominated by a very few people who appear at least to say almost anything for money and or power, but never not erudition.

In a way, this has been the mounting case for human civilization since the invention of the drum.  That drum tells us whether to go to war, run from war, or celebrate either.

The evidence of this came much earlier than I thought as I look back over 100 years of history.  The evidence or “symptoms” of these massive changes that are truly a societal virus came upon us in a relatively brief period — perhaps 25 years or less– and the most palpable symptom of that disease is the dawn of the NeoCon – who now is considered almost a moderate right of center conservative. The NeoCon was the warning of what was happening but the general public ignored it and became almost violent against those who wrote cautions about it.

Today’s NeoCon sprang from disillusioned liberals about 25 years after World War II.  These men and women were becoming right-minded, literally, as they saw many of their dreams, held tightly when younger, later turn to mist.  That seen, many former liberals knew that the women’s movement, the anti-war movement, even anti-racism movements were nearing failure or had completely failed already.


What did these old liberals do – They turned back toward an earlier time that appeared less jarring to the soul on a national basis: a time before our own civil war where men really did do almost anything they felt like doing; In relationships, love, family, slavery, business practices, destruction knowingly or unknowingly of the environment – yet keeping the American peace for needed periods of rest.

The NeoCon of today thought that this past era, and “the founders” of American civilization and law thereupon was the apex of society as democracy. In many ways, this was true but made wholly ludicrous by our continued embrace of slavery and ensuing horrors until the late 1960s when power realized it was time to at least appear to give in more than a little to the outbursts from the neediest in our society.

Although greed still played the largest role in societies around the globe after the 16th Century, communications –through newspapers. pamphlets and other propaganda materials supported by business and personal advertising made things seem somehow better than before.

So many people at the time could not read. Our nation was run, in fact, by European intellectuals somewhat tired of monarchs and tyrants as much of the world was.  Yet year by year, development of information and communication grew quickly via telegraph, radio, television, print over wire, and the computer, now so small it has become a thin small device in your pocket or bag. Suddenly kings, queens, and dictators became interesting – almost charming – even with their worst actions trumped.

Truly, the neoconservative did not discover the power of communications as did the better educated progressives for a quite long while.  Just as the Vietnam war was starting and then ending in defeat on all sides conservatives like Irving Krystol, or William Buckley began to recognize the influence which could be gained from comparatively simple communication to a broad and multitudinous audience who did not talk back – Not yet.

The World Wide Web changed that – and around the end of the 1980’s we, at the top of the pyramid and closer to the bottom, could talk back, at first only a little, but over time even sassier than any radio or television network could have dreamed.

I think that Stephen Bannon and the too-early deceased Mr. Breitbart learned how to utilize this communicative supremacy a bit earlier than some.

I think that Mr. Stone of Black, Mannafort & Stone realized earlier than even Mark Penn of Penn & Schoen, while still at Harvard with Doug Schoen in New York and with their knowledge paved an early path for Ed Koch to become “Mayor for Life” of New York City. Mark and Doug knew the power of information, and how to get it by the megaton and more-so how to comprehend it to provide the outlines for change and to manipulate public opinion through polling and advertising, through push polling and phone banks, through film and public perception expertise.

Like Bannon, I too, never miss reading the New York Times and doing the crossword puzzles every day as they grow more difficult from Monday through Saturday.

Yet Bannon, who I once would have considered an enemy of rational thought is truthful today.

He is telling what he misses and why.

The ‘news’ media to which he generally calls “the media” since other forms of media also have large impact to air and deliver respectable propaganda about everything from what baby cereal your infant eats, to what drugs you must take toward the end of life.

The Media is ill. Bannon is right.  It is confused and the academic or knowledgeable media is not as well funded as it once was because of a resistance to condense. This is especially true for large urban newspapers and magazines some of which have a million subscribers or more, but are searching for a locked-in place on the internet before people stop reading on paper but only on screens of one size or another.  This is wrong. What big time media needs today is to condense to provide truth – not guesswork to people relying on it.

The Internet today is akin to a huge “Billboard” where you can become at least conversational in almost any subject and even an expert in many.

What Bannon isn’t saying, is a well-advised codicil that should be added to his enjoinder this week to the news media, “Keep Your Mouth Shut” is that the New York Times and other sources cannot match his expertise or his budgets for getting just one thing done, Elect Donald Trump as president of the United States and not Hillary Clinton. The media has a heavier burden of truth than Bannon or Trump.  It must bring truth to us on so many things.

The New York Times is still the best newspaper on earth in my opinion, but it and its brothers and sisters around the world still “don’t get it” – Stephen Bannon gets it, and you know what – I cannot tell you why yet, because I don’t know how better to explain it.  What I did know is that Trump would win – and I treated him, therefore as the winner in my work this past year, without saying it, without cheering him on – but by knocking out his GOP opponents because they were horrible or worse, but by at least trying to understand him and how he could be viewed. That is still no clear, but will be as the months pass.

I am certain that neither Steve Bannon nor President Trump know me, but I know why they were victorious since I am a curious fellow.

Here is a clue and my mantra:

“Not only must you employ people who can find the truth and tell it and nothing less as journalists, but you must also make certain that society knows that and relies on it without having to ask.”

I commend Stephen Bannon and Donald Trump for their first-rate game of political chess, and continue to ask them to think about constructing a cabinet-level division, titled The United States Department of Joy, which would bring delight to the American people and the world- just now and then, but as a reliable amazement, and that Donald Trump might agree to be its official dad.


Jeff Koopersmith

American Politics Journal
Editor Emeritus