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President Donald Trump listens Fox News' Sean Hannity speak during a rally at Show Me Center, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump listens Fox News' Sean Hannity speak during a rally at Show Me Center, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Television personality Sean Hannity speaks to members of the audience while signing autographs before the start of a campaign rally Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Hannity joins Trump on stage despite claiming he wouldn’t


AP Media Writer

Tuesday, November 6

NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Hannity spoke from the stage of President Donald Trump’s last midterm election rally, after Fox News Channel and its most popular personality had insisted all day that he wouldn’t.

Hannity appeared on the podium in a Missouri arena Monday night after being called to the stage by Trump. Another Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro, also appeared onstage with the president.

“By the way, all those people in the back are fake news,” Hannity told the audience.

It was an extraordinary scene after the news network had worked Monday to establish distance between Hannity and the campaign. Trump’s campaign had billed Hannity as a “special guest” at the rally, but Fox had said that wasn’t so. Hannity himself had tweeted: “To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president. I am covering final rally for the show.”

But Trump called him to the stage after saying, “they’re very special, they’ve done an incredible job for us. They’ve been with us from the beginning.”

Hannity hugged the president when he came onstage and, after echoing Trump’s traditional epithets about the media, recited some economic statistics.

A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediate return a message seeking comment.

“Either Fox News lied all day about their direct collaboration with the Trump campaign, or the network simply doesn’t have any control over Sean Hannity,” said Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America, which has urged an advertiser boycott of Hannity in the past. “This is a problem. It’s dangerous for democracy and a threat to a free press.”

Hannity has been rebuked by Fox in the past. In 2016, he was part of a Trump political video, which Fox said it had not known about in advance and told Hannity not to do so again. When Fox found out in 2010 that the Tea Party had advertised that Hannity would be appearing at one of his fundraising rallies, Fox said it had not approved the arrangement and ordered him back to New York.

Monday’s rally appearance was not shown on Fox News Channel, but was aired on C-SPAN.

It came after Hannity’s prime-time show aired from the rally site. He played the role of cheerleader from the side as the crowd waited for Trump’s appearance. He pleaded with viewers to vote Republican on Tuesday to support Trump, and his opening monologue echoed a campaign slogan seen on signs at the arena: “Promises made, promises kept.”

He moved backstage, and with six minutes before the end of his show, Trump appeared for a billed interview that was largely bereft of questions. Trump told Hannity he had seen the beginning of his show.

“I never miss your opening monologue,” he said.

Hannity’s role at the rally had been put in question by Trump campaign itself. It announced on Sunday that Hannity was to be a guest, along with radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and singer Lee Greenwood. Fox said it did not know how that impression had been created and Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for the campaign, did not respond to a request for comment.

Despite Fox’s disavowal, the Trump campaign continued to list Hannity as a guest throughout Monday at the link where people could seek tickets to the event.

Associated Press writer Lou Kesten in Washington contributed to this report.

Fox, NBC and Facebook turn down Trump ad deemed racist


AP Media Writer

Tuesday, November 6

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC, Fox News Channel and Facebook all said Monday they will stop airing President Donald Trump’s campaign advertisement that featured an immigrant convicted of killing two police officers.

CNN had rejected the same ad, declaring it racist.

Asked before leaving for campaign rallies if he thought the advertisement was offensive, Trump said, “a lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of times.”

The ad has already likely been seen by more people than it would if it kept running. NBC aired it on the “Sunday Night Football” game between the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers, which drew the highest overnight ratings of the franchise’s history. During football season, it’s usually the most-watched show on television, often with around 20 million viewers.

MSNBC also aired it on “Morning Joe” Monday.

Released last week, the advertisement includes footage of Luis Bracamontes, a twice-deported immigrant from Mexico sentenced to death in California for killing two police officers. He’s seen smiling in a court appearance and saying, “I will break out soon and I will kill more.”

An earlier version of the ad said, without evidence, that “Democrats let him into our country.” That claim was deleted from the current version.

The new edit still shows masses of people shaking at a fence, apparently trying to break it down, and ends with the tagline, “Trump and Republicans are making America safe again.”

NBC was the first of the three companies to say it was stopping the advertisement Monday, apparently after a fierce online response.

“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBC Universal said in a statement.

Marianne Gambelli, Fox News’ president of advertising sales, said the commercial was pulled on Sunday “upon further review.” Fox did not immediately say how many times it had aired on either Fox News Channel or the Fox Business Network.

Facebook initially ran the ad but that was an error, company spokesman Andy Stone said, because it violates the company’s policy against sensation content.

Facebook is still allowing its members to post the ad in their news feeds, however.

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tweeted that NBC News, CNN and Facebook had chosen “to stand with those ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY.” He said the media was trying to control what you see and think.

Parscale made no mention of Fox’s decision.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., had tweeted over the weekend, noting CNN’s refusal to air the advertisement, that “I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda.”

CNN said through Twitter that it was made “abundantly clear” through its coverage that the ad was racist and declined to air it when the campaign sought to buy airtime.

Opinion: Do Facts Still Matter?

By Bill O’Keefe


I ask this question because the “Bully Pulpit” of the White House has become ground zero for persuasion by alternative facts. The alleged “migrant invasion” is the latest example. As has been noted recently, when the president makes it up as he goes along, the White House communications team and the bureaucracy go into action to turn nonsense into truth.

President Trump has claimed that a pending “invasion” from Central American migrants is a national emergency that demands sending armed troops to the border to stop an “invasion” of terrorists, people from the Middle East, M-13 gang members, and others who will take American jobs and threaten the safety of law-abiding citizens.

The only thing that is true is that there is a caravan of people who want to enter the United States. Trump’s method of governing is best described by the late journalist H.L. Mencken who observed that, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

The facts tell a much different story, one that cries out for compassion. Most of those who are in the caravan, perhaps all, are seeking asylum. There are now 7,000 — many on foot — who are 1,000 miles from our southern border.

International law and U.S. immigration law both provide a process for dealing with people who claim asylum. To avoid expedited deportation back to their home country, asylum seekers must prove that their lives and liberty are at risk and that they have credible fear for their safety.

If they won’t be granted asylum, isn’t it likely that they will attempt to cross the border illegally? While that is always a possibility, the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States has not been increasing. According to adjustice.org, unauthorized immigration is at its lowest level since 1972. The only increase in arrivals are unaccompanied children fleeing gang violence and drug cartels in Central America. And the number of illegal immigrants is slightly lower than in 2009 and those in the workforce have also not increased.

Those who claim that the caravan includes terrorists and the like are contradicted by a State Department report: “At year’s end there was no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico … or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.”

Claims to the contrary are the hobgoblins of Mencken’s reference — and flat-out lies. The secretary of state recently stated that it is not true that a record number of migrants have arrived at the U.S.-Mexican border. So far this year, the U.S. Border Patrol has arrested 397,000 migrants, which is a number that is lower than the early 2000s.

Yes, we have an immigration problem and it is a bipartisan problem that has been recognized for decades. Instead of addressing it in a bipartisan manner, it has been used as a political football (and a political scare tactic), especially by Trump. Political sniping has become a substitute for governing, which has exacerbated the anger that now pervades our nation.

The Washington Post recently observed, “This is Trump’s Reichstag fire. Not in the sense that Trump is Hitler, but rather in the more general way this term is sometimes used: Trump is perverting imagery of a real event to create a false narrative about what is happening and why; to justify his chosen response to it; and to manipulate public opinion toward other ends.”

While this might be a harsh condemnation it demonstrates an important point. The short-term political gain achieved by stoking fears comes at a very high cost. We are reacting to imaginary hobgoblins instead of addressing the serious problems of the national debt, entitlement reform, strengthening our alliances to counter threats from China and Russia, immigration, and the almost total breakdown of civil discourse. Unless a way is soon found to change our national dynamics, we will forfeit forever the title of being freedom’s beacon — if we have not done so already.


Bill O’Keefe is the founder of Solutions Consulting in Midlothian, Va. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

The Conversation

How Christian missionary media shaped the world

November 6, 2018

Author: Jason Bruner, Director of Undergraduate Studies & Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, Arizona State University

Disclosure statement: Jason Bruner receives funding from the Louisville Institute

Partners: Arizona State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

The Christian Broadcasting Network, founded over 50 years ago by evangelist Pat Robertson, has now launched the first 24-hour Christian television news channel.

Robertson said that the channel would help viewers understand how current events both in the United States and abroad affect them. The Christian Broadcasting Network has considerable influence among evangelicals, and President Trump, at times, has used the outlet to reach this support base.

But this is not the first time Christians have shared and shaped the content of world news and information through a distinctly Christian viewpoint.

Christian missionary publications

For much of the 19th century, Christian missionaries served as informal foreign correspondents for a broadly Christian public in the eastern United States and Western Europe.

They kept churches and missionary societies up to date on the societies in which they lived through regular letters and – by the late 19th century – photographs. Their letters were often reprinted in pamphlets and newsletters, or shared informally through extensive church networks.

One of the most notable examples of the use of missionary networks in bridging the imagined distance between a Western Christian public and distant people comes from the Congo Free State, which was established in 1885 and ruled solely by King Leopold of Belgium.

Leopold’s rule was characterized by widespread atrocities. Some estimates of the death toll of Leopold’s policies exceed 10 million people. Leopold used his reign to extract natural resources from the region. Following a boom in rubber prices, his agents were quick to use violence against the local population to make them harvest and process rubber.

In 1904, Alice Harris, a Protestant missionary with the Congo Balolo Mission, which was organized and supported by British Baptists, took what would become an iconic image of the horrors. Her image has a Congolese father sitting in a kind of stupor, gazing at his daughter’s severed hand and foot, which lie in front of him on the missionary’s porch.

Harris’s image was reproduced in a host of pamphlets, books and newspapers in both Britain and the United States. Along with other images and reports, it helped foment an international reaction against Leopold’s brutal reign.

Armenian genocide

At around the same time, missionaries also highlighted the pogroms and genocidal violence committed against Assyrian and Armenian Christians in the eastern Ottoman Empire.

When Assyrian and Armenian Christians experienced systematic mass violence at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, evangelical missionaries from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions were among the first to report on the atrocities.

Their dispatches motivated the formation of an unprecedented international relief effort for the persecuted Christians. Supported by the Woodrow Wilson-led government, approximately US$116 million in aid was raised.

Global awareness

Missionaries believed that God worked with them through religious conversions, moral reform and material and economic progress, to spread the truth of Christianity. The role of missionary media became foundational in providing information and images of suffering in the world.

This role often pushed them into ever more remote territories. The information that they sent enabled many Christians in the West to more easily imagine the world as a globally connected community.

Scholars in a wide range of emerging academic disciplines consulted missionary newsletters and updates for knowledge about the world. These networks also established a model for creating public humanitarian campaigns on behalf of those who were suffering on the other side of the globe – one that continues to shape contemporary humanitarian efforts.

CBN News’ insistence that “God is everywhere – even in the news” echoes similar sentiments. It places the network in a longer line of creating a global Christian identity through knowledge production. News is an essential component of this.

The Conversation

Hurricanes and water wars threaten the Gulf Coast’s new high-end oyster industry

November 6, 2018


Daniel R. Petrolia

Professor of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

William C. Walton

Associate Professor of Fisheries Science, Auburn University

Disclosure statement

Daniel R. Petrolia receives funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

William C. Walton receives funding from National Sea Grant, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and the USDA. He is affiliated with Oyster South, a non-profit dedicated to advancing oyster aquaculture in the southern US.


Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

For Cainnon Gregg, 2018 started out as a great year. After leaving his job as an installation artist to become a full-time oyster farmer in Wakulla County, Florida in 2017, Gregg began raising small oysters in baskets or bags suspended in the shallow, productive coastal waters of Apalachicola Bay.

Raising oysters “off-bottom” this way takes a lot of time and money, but has a big potential payoff. They are destined for the high-end raw bar market, where offerings are denoted by specific appellations, like “Salty Birds” (Cainnon’s oysters), “Navy Coves” (from Alabama) and “Murder Points” (also from Alabama), and can retail for twice the price of oysters harvested from traditional on-bottom reefs.

When Hurricane Michael made landfall at Mexico Beach, Florida, on Oct. 10, 2018, it dealt a devastating blow to this nascent industry. Preliminary reports indicate significant damage and heavy crop losses. Raising oysters by any method is not an easy job, but if off-bottom farming can become established along the Gulf Coast, it could give the industry a much-needed boost, give consumers more choices, and provide a new stream of environmental benefits.

Premium products

The United States produces multiple species of oysters, but historically the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) has accounted for over 70 percent of total harvests. The Gulf Coast generally accounts for 80 percent of those, with production generating US $1 billion in annual revenues.

Louisiana is the national leader in oyster production, with a handful of other states vying for second place, including Washington, South Carolina and Texas. However, when states are ranked by value per unit – that is, total value over total landings – states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia dominate.

This is partly due to regional differences in how oysters are grown and marketed. Traditional harvesting of oyster reefs on the sea bottom still dominates in the Gulf region. These oysters are generally sold as a commodity, appearing on menus as simply “oysters” or “Gulf Coast oysters.”

Elsewhere, most oysters come from off-bottom farming and tend to be marketed under the names of specific reefs, growers or appellations. Off-bottom oyster farming has been a major driver in the growth of marine aquaculture production nationally.

The Gulf’s first commercial off-bottom farms started up in Alabama and Louisiana in 2010. Today more than 50 farms are operating in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana, with permits pending for others in Mississippi. Harvest data are limited, but in Alabama alone, eleven farms collectively reported nearly $2 million in sales in 2016. In recent years Alabama has ranked among the top five states in per-unit value.

Reasons to diversify

Raising off-bottom oysters is good for more than oystermen’s bottom lines. Oysters improve water clarity by filtering out phytoplankton, thereby removing nitrogen from the water column. They also provide forage grounds and habitat for fish and act as breakwaters, protecting nearby shorelines.

Off-bottom farms deliver the same types of benefits as traditional on-bottom reefs, although in slightly different ways and at different times, depending on local conditions and farming methods. In our view, raising oysters in multiple ways is beneficial because it avoids putting all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak, and makes the industry more resilient.

We come at this topic from different perspectives. Daniel Petrolia focuses on the economics of coastal resources and natural hazards. William Walton directs Auburn University’s Marine Invertebrate Fisheries, Restoration and Aquaculture Lab. We have worked together since 2011 to better understand oyster habitats, evaluate market opportunities and identify and tackle challenges for the new industry. Disaster preparation and recovery clearly are top priorities.

We see off-bottom oyster farming as especially interesting economically, given its novelty on the Gulf Coast, the new market opportunities it affords growers and the diversity it brings to the Gulf Coast’s oyster habitat “portfolio.” It also offers new choices for people who like to eat Gulf Coast oysters.

Natural and man-made disasters

Hurricanes and storms pose serious threats to the Gulf oyster industry. They can harm reefs by burying them in sediments or drastically altering water salinity.

Storm impacts tend to be highly localized. Prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mississippi was the fourth-largest oyster-producing state in the nation. Katrina slashed the state’s output by 80 percent that year, and fishermen were unable to harvest oysters at all in 2006. Production recovered somewhat over the next several years, but Mississippi harvests have remained around one-tenth of pre-Katrina levels.

Louisiana, whose oyster reefs lie just west of where Katrina made landfall, saw just a 6 percent drop in production following Katrina. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster were shorter-lived, but Louisiana’s 2010 harvest was cut in half due to precautionary closures during and after the spill. Oysters were also killed by releases of fresh water from the Mississippi River, which were conducted in an effort to keep oil out of coastal estuaries.

Storms are not the only threat. Florida and Georgia have been fighting for decades over allocating water from the Apalachicola River; when Georgia draws a high level of water, it reduces freshwater flow to Apalachicola Bay, which can lead to increases in oyster mortality from predation and disease. And harmful algal blooms, such as Florida’s massive 2018 red tide outbreak, can close waters to harvesting.

Beyond direct impacts on oyster farms, Hurricane Michael damaged state laboratories that conduct water quality testing required to re-open waters to harvesting. Testing delays could lead to prolonged closures and even affect areas not hit by the storm. Michael also disrupted red tide sampling in several Panhandle counties. In Gulf and Escambia counties, red tide concentrations actually increased in late October.

Farmers will be looking for more oyster seed – the small oysters that they need to restock their bags and baskets. This could drive up demand and strain the industry’s capacity. Unlike crop farmers on land, oyster farmers cannot buy subsidized insurance to help them with losses of oysters and gear, so those who suffered heavy damage will be challenged to rebuild their operations.

Not an easy business

As we write, oyster farmers in the Panhandle are still inspecting their farms for damage and seeing how their oysters fared. Some estimate that they may have lost 60 to 90 percent of their crops.

Oystermen have strategies for dealing with hurricanes, such as sinking baskets loaded with oysters to the bottom before the storm arrives. But they can only reduce risk, not eliminate it. The threat of rising sea levels and more intense storms will force them to continue adapting and improving their strategies.

Earlier this year, Cainnon Gregg started selling “Salty Birds” to some of the finest oyster bars in the South. Two days after Hurricane Michael passed through, he was back on the water checking lines and making repairs. “There’s nothing easy about any of this, and all you can do is get back out here and get back to work,” he said. He could have been speaking for all Gulf oystermen.

President Donald Trump listens Fox News’ Sean Hannity speak during a rally at Show Me Center, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/11/web1_121720137-b2a213301a5e424bbaf221b1e7bbcf1f.jpgPresident Donald Trump listens Fox News’ Sean Hannity speak during a rally at Show Me Center, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Television personality Sean Hannity speaks to members of the audience while signing autographs before the start of a campaign rally Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/11/web1_121720137-2f48d287e6744b75a96b6de68332dc21.jpgTelevision personality Sean Hannity speaks to members of the audience while signing autographs before the start of a campaign rally Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
News & Views

Staff & Wire Reports