Wednesday Night #1994

Written by  //  June 3, 2020  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

As many of you know, my communication of last week’s email Prologue was frustrated by a persistent computer problem, only solved on Monday afternoon. I was able to notify WN Facebook friends who rallied to Zoom, and the Prologue is posted on the website Wednesday Night #1993. However, good intentions about focusing on specific aspects of the post-pandemic world order were derailed, as has been the proposed focus for this week – Education. We hope to put that together next week, which will also feature Peter Berezin on the Economy. Seems fitting, as almost everyone agrees that the former is essential for the improvement of the latter (See The case for more international cooperation in education).

Another Wednesday Nighter joins the Chairman at the WN Table in The Cloud. Reed Scowen, a good friend and frequent participant in earlier days, died on 28 May after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s.

Monday, 1 June, was the 40th anniversary of CNN’s first news broadcast
The tale of its undeniable, if somewhat improbable, success is masterfully told by Sandy Wolofsky’s friend Lisa Napoli in the just-published Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News. It is a riveting companion in modified lockdown days.

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, captured on video that immediately went viral, and the explosive aftermath of protests, inflammatory comments and tone-deaf moves by Trump including threats of military intervention in U.S. cities (See How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park for a detailed summary of Monday’s events in D.C.).
Caroline Mimbs Nyce New Yorker Senior associate editor:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a staged photo op outside the White House succinctly tells the story of the Trump presidency.
“An Abuse of Sacred Symbols”: Trump, a Bible, and a Sanctuary
‘I find it baffling and reprehensible’: Catholic Archbishop of Washington slams Trump’s visit to John Paul II shrine

Joe Biden’s response on Tuesday is “perhaps his closest approximation yet of a presidential address to the nation” I urge you to read the transcript and share it widely. Equally worthy is Former President George W. Bush‘s statement on the death of George Floyd

Opinion, analysis and responses, often accompanied by disturbing images, have taken over the headlines. Commentators are divided over whether these are peaceful protests, corrupted in instances by looting and burning by aggressive elements of Antifa (See White supremacists pose as Antifa online, call for violence) or thugs motivated only by the desire to cause and profit from violence. However there is agreement -among the mainstream media that the protests reflect the deep societal divisions, racial and economic disparity in the U.S. Whatever the truth, the tumult of the last week in urban areas across the country, aggravated by the tensions caused by Covid-19 and economic pain, may well continue for the foreseeable future, despite the somewhat positive news that Peaceful protesters defied curfews, but minimal mayhem was reported overnight. It is a grim prospect.
We are pleased to report that the Philadelphia contingent of the WN diaspora are safe and well. In fact, Terry Jones is

Bloomberg’s Wednesday newsletter sums up international reactions
For years President Donald Trump has called out other countries for their troubles.
Now the spotlight is on America’s turmoil after the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The episode has raised fresh questions about policing in a country where inequality runs deep, exacerbated by Covid-19 decimating jobs and small businesses.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was “shocked and appalled” by Floyd’s death, calling it “an abuse of power and this has to be denounced.”
Australia’s government wants answers, saying law enforcement officers roughed up a news crew covering rallies in America. Footage shows protesters being beaten, tear gassed or hit with rubber bullets, and police cars driving into crowds. Demonstrations over Floyd’s death have sprouted from London to Auckland.
Trump’s firm line against what he sees as rioters and looters is causing concern around the world. It’s also playing into the hands of America’s opponents. And it might even embolden some strongmen leaders.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has curbed dissent in Turkey, condemned the “racist and fascist approach” that led to Floyd’s death. Russia’s embassy, without a hint of irony, urged the U.S. to ensure the “safety and unhindered activities of journalists.” Iran likened the “knee-on-neck” technique used on Floyd to America’s “maximum pressure” sanctions.
China’s state media is in gleeful overdrive after months of criticism for the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Rosalind Mathieson

Meanwhile, the role of the media has come under critical review.
The Columbia Journalism Review takes the New York Times to task in New York Times public editor: Enough of ‘all the news.’ Time for what’s fit to print. Perhaps it’s time, as we confront two pandemics—one a virus, the other cynical misinformation peddled mostly for financial gain—that the Times stopped focusing on all the news, and took a stand once more on what is fit to print.

Trump, just before the 2016 election, to Lesley Stahl…about his attacks on the media: “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.”
All of the blame cannot be attributed to the police. As John Doyle writes in American all-news TV is fundamentally unfit to cover this crisis. He makes some excellent points.
Two excellent pieces from The Nieman Journalism Lab
U.S. police have attacked journalists more than 120 times since May 28
“Although in some incidents it is possible the journalists were hit or affected accidentally, in the majority of the cases we have recorded the journalists are clearly identifiable as press, and it is clear that they are being deliberately targeted.”
and Riot or resistance? The way the media frames the unrest in Minneapolis will shape the public’s view of protest

In India, the pandemic is cover for Modi’s war on journalists
(WaPo) Nearly three months into its coronavirus lockdown, India is continuing its transformation into one of the world’s most dangerous places to be a journalist.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t quite manage to pass legislation completely banning independent coverage at the outset of the pandemic, the journalistic climate has been steadily deteriorating regardless.
Meanwhile, Cleo writes in her latest policy brief for The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), COVID-19 in India, that India is slowly emerging, after suffering severe economic damage, from its anti-virus lockdown. The country’s enormous economic and strategic potential as a U.S. partner and counterweight to China now faces a range of challenges. Resurrecting the economy will be difficult. Millions of migrant laborers are now hunkering down in their home villages and will be reluctant to leave until the economy recovers enough to guarantee them daily wages. This has knocked the bottom out of India’s economy.

Andrew Caddell also avoids the obvious topic of the week, writing in his weekly Hill Times column Tibet 70 years later is a reminder of China’s true face Long before the tensions in Hong Kong, long before Taiwan or Tiananmen Square, there was China’s invasion of Tibet. But what was once a major cause célèbre around the world seems to have been forgotten as China flexes its muscles in other parts of Asia. It shouldn’t be.

For your calendar
Wednesday June 8-9pm
The World After Covid-19: A Conversation with Ian Bremmer
Munk Dialogue with political scientist and bestselling author Ian Bremmer for a Munk Dialogue on the future of Great Power politics after COVID19. Facebook Live.
Thursday, 4 June 1700 à 1800 heures
Thank you, Christopher Bourne for sharing:
J’ai le bonheur de vous inviter à assister au premier webinaire en direct organisé par l’ACNU-Québec en collaboration avec l’ACNU-Grand Montréal, qui aura lieu virtuellement le 4 juin prochain à 17 h. M. Jocelyn Coulon, politologue québécois et expert des questions internationales, présentera une conférence sur le thème ” Pandémie et Nations Unies : et après ? “. Une période de questions sera modérée par notre collègue, Erick Duchesne.
Pour y assister, vous devez vous y inscrire en cliquant sur le lien suivant : https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aEBizSzmRhK0gOLdY_wjhg
Fri, June 12, 2020
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
Capitalism, COVID-19, and a New Way Forward: An Evening of Conversation with Julius Grey
The Thomas More Institute is pleased to host a web-interview with Julius Grey, renowned Montreal lawyer, professor, human rights activist, and author of the book Capitalism and the Alternatives, published last year by McGill-Queen’s University Press. Me Grey will be interviewed by Martin Baenninger and Pam Butler of the Thomas More Institute. Brian McDonough will host the event.
To access the Zoom webinar, click here to register. You will receive the meeting link and password via email.

Searching for positive news with which to conclude, we are happy to celebrate the successful launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon A Historic Docking, 250 Miles Above Earth
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that boosted astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken into space provided a slightly rougher ride than expected during the later stages of the climb to orbit, but both said Monday they enjoyed their historic trip and marveled at a sooth-as-silk docking with the space station. (Astronauts describe ride to space aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon) The glittering stowaway, Tremor, the toy dinosaur, added a charming, lighthearted note.

And this pre-lockdown picture Bear Spotted With Legs Crossed & Arm Over Couch Relaxing At Garbage Dump

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