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first_img“And with such a people you can then do what you please.”That frightening change is happening in America, and at a shocking pace.But there are encouraging signs, too.One is that the reality-based press (the phrase I prefer to mainstream media) has been forced to be ever more transparent in how it operates.No more can we hide behind a paternalistic idea that “we know best” or “it’s news when we say it’s news.”Far greater journalistic transparency is required now. And we’re seeing more of it. When BuzzFeed made it clear, as it broke the news about U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s sexual-harassment settlement, that its information came from the far-right media figure Mike Cernovich, it protected itself and helped its readers. And for good reason: The Post’s video of the encounter with the would-be source was like a master class in reporting as high-wire act.But Project Veritas quickly turned this into a fundraising opportunity for itself, claiming victory and releasing a video that purported to show The Post’s bias against Trump.It depicted a Post reporter explaining the difference between news-side reporting and editorial-page opinion, which has been openly critical of the administration.Some, undoubtedly, believed Project Veritas’ take, cheered and opened their wallets.Are we as a nation so deep into our social-media bubbles and echo chambers that many have lost track of what’s real and what’s fake?It’s a deeply troubling problem but hardly a new one.“If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer,” wrote the German-born political theorist Hannah Arendt many decades ago. It tried to make a brazen lie the reason the women’s stories would be dismissed.Happily, The Post’s reporting was rigorous. And luckily, the scheme had all the savvy of a bully who tries to steal your lunch with the principal watching.“Beyond boneheaded,” was the characterization of Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, aptly noting that stupidity and maliciousness are a bad combination.A win, then, for reality.But a troubling question arises:Who will be believed?Journalists and many thoughtful citizens may have been high-fiving Monday. Breitbart News, as that pro-Trump propaganda machine calls itself, was part of the campaign when it sent staffers (I won’t call them reporters) to Alabama for the express purpose of knocking down a Washington Post story.In it, multiple women agreed to use their real names and to be quoted about Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct or assault when they were girls. (Breitbart ended up confirming The Post’s story but crowed about its own non-findings anyway.)Trump was part of the campaign when he called this week for a trophy to be given for “fake news,” disparaging CNN in particular.And again when he reportedly cast doubt on the validity of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which he bragged about grabbing women’s genitals.There is no question as to the tape’s authenticity.But the new low came Monday as Project Veritas — could its name be any more Orwellian? — was exposed for its clumsy effort to lure The Post into publishing a false story about a woman whose girlhood affair with Moore led to an abortion.This would-be scam won the race to the bottom — so far — because, at its black heart, it mocked the bravery of women telling their own true, painful experiences.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionIn the right-wing campaign to discredit the truth, every day brings a new low.I don’t mean Roy Moore’s campaign for U.S. Senate, though that certainly has been at the center, lately, of the broader crusade.No, I mean the insidious drive — led, sadly, by President Donald Trump — to undermine the reality-based press in America and in so doing to eat away at the underpinnings of our democracy: a shared basis in credible, verifiable facts. When The Post clearly laid out how it got its original Moore story — that reporters found and persuaded women to tell their stories — it makes its journalism more bulletproof. News people used to joke that readers should never be allowed to see how the sausage is made. Now we need to show that messy process as clearly as possible. Our very credibility depends on it.Project Veritas prides itself on its ability to do just that – to go behind the carefully lit scenes of media and politics and to show what’s really happening. But its perversion of that mission was on ugly display this week. As a nation tries to keep hold of what’s real, despite a gaslighting president and his corrupt media helpers, we need more of what’s working: rigorous, careful journalism and radical transparency.Margaret M. Sullivan is the media columnist for The Washington Post and the former public editor of The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

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first_imgTopics : The Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry is proposing the inclusion of power companies onto a list of industries eligible for cheap natural gas.The list, as stipulated by Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 40/2016, currently includes the rubber gloves, ceramics, glass, steel, fertilizer, petrochemical and oleochemical industries, which are eligible to procure gas at US$6 per million British thermal units (mmbtu).The figure is far lower than the national average of around $8 per mmbtu. “We have suggested the idea. Whether or not the industry is included, depends on when the revised Perpres is issued,” the Energy Ministry’s electrification director general, Rida Mulyana, said in Jakarta on Monday.Read also: PLN to use LNG in 52 power plants to help reduce oil importsProviding cheap gas to Indonesia’s power companies, specifically to the country’s largest power producer, state-owned PLN, would also lower electricity prices, he said.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued a regulation in 2016 to provide cheap gas for certain industries, yet gas prices have remained unchanged over the past four years.The President announced in January three possible solutions to reduce prices, such as the imposition of the domestic market obligation (DMO) policy on gas producers, fiscal incentives and import relaxations. Jokowi is expected to make a decision on the matter at the end of March.last_img read more

first_imgThe ECB last week agreed to pump more liquidity into the financial system and joined other central banks in a bid to ease a funding squeeze. The measures on Wednesday include:* A temporary asset purchase program to buy public and private-sector securities, worth 750 billion euros and running until at least the end of 2020* Program will cover all assets eligible under current quantitative-easing program, and will be extended to commercial papers of sufficient credit quality* Greek government debt will be included in the program under a waiver from current rules The European Central Bank launched an extra emergency bond-buying program worth 750 billion euros (US$820 billion) in the latest attempt to calm markets and protect a euro-area economy struggling to cope with the coronavirus epidemic.“Extraordinary times require extraordinary action. There are no limits to our commitment to the euro,” President Christine Lagarde said. The euro and US equity futures rose after the stimulus measures.The decision in an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday night is the latest in an escalating global response to an outbreak widely seen driving the economy into recession this year. In Europe, officials are weighing activating a regional bailout fund to help nations with strained public finances that saw their borrowing costs surge after announcing additional spending measures. * Collateral standards will be eased by adjusting some risk parameters* Program will continue until ECB judges the crisis phase of the pandemic to be over, but not before the end of this year* The ECB will consider raising its self-imposed limits on QE holdings, and stands ready to increase the size of its asset purchase programsS&P 500 futures reversed losses and the single currency edged higher to trade around $1.0950.Investors are pushing up bond yields as they fret about the cost of the massive fiscal response to the pandemic. Italy, which already has the euro zone’s second-biggest debt burden after Greece and is the worst-affected by the disease, is especially hard hit.“We think that it is clear that central banks will use all their instruments to support financial markets and their functioning,” Ebrahim Rahbari, Citigroup’s global head of currency analysis, wrote in a note after the ECB decision. “However, we think we still need further fiscal easing and indications of absorbing private credit risk to stabilize financial markets more durably.”In its statement, the central bank said it “will not tolerate any risks to the smooth transmission of its monetary policy in all jurisdictions of the euro area.”Venturing into the commercial-paper market is a novelty for the institution. In doing so, policy makers are taking a page out of the Federal Reserve’s book.The Fed committed to backstopping the market for top-rated, dollar-denominated, three-month notes to support America’s biggest corporations in meeting short-term cash flow needs and payroll. The Bank of England has announced a similar plan.The decision to consider raising the limits on QE holdings could be controversial. The caps, set at the start of the program in 2015, are meant to address concerns the central bank would breach European Union law by financing governments.Lagarde’s predecessor, Mario Draghi, argued last year the Governing Council could loosen standards if economic circumstances warrant it. Taking that step in the immediate future faces one key complication – a German constitutional court ruling on the legality of QE is just weeks away.Wednesday’s announcement came hours after French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on the ECB to intervene “quickly and massively” using all its instruments.With yields spiraling, euro-area officials are looking at activating the region’s bailout fund to help contain the impact of the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter.That would be a crucial step toward triggering the ECB’s most powerful bond-buying power – Outright Monetary Transactions – a program designed during the bloc’s debt crisis in 2012 to purchase the debt of specific nations.That program, which grew out of Draghi’s “whatever it takes” pledge, has never been used.The coronavirus pandemic, which has morphed from a health crisis into an economic crisis as factory output is disrupted and services shut down, is now sparking a financial meltdown with investors scrambling for the exits and funding costs being driven higher.European banks took $130 billion made available by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday, helping ease the funding stress from the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the biggest use of the crisis-era swap lines since the global financial meltdown more than a decade ago. A day earlier, they borrowed 109.1 billion euros from the ECB.Topics :last_img read more