Why Fox News Exec Suzanne Scott Isn’t the Answer to Network’s Discrimination Problem

Now we have a different task: protecting the movement against conservative appropriation. We’ve come too far to allow the right to water down a well-defined movement for its own cynical gains. Because if feminism means applauding “anything a woman does” — even hurting other women — then it means nothing.

Now we have a different task: protecting the movement against conservative appropriation. We’ve come too far to allow the right to water down a well-defined movement for its own cynical gains. Because if feminism means applauding “anything a woman does” — even hurting other women — then it means nothing.

.. Scott has advanced her own career, as groundbreaking as it may be, by undermining the women underneath and around her. That’s not feminism, that’s mercenary

.. Similarly, female conservative politicians, from Margaret Thatcher to Marine Le Pen, have had notoriously bad records on rights for other women, i.e., women besides themselves.

.. It seems Fox News is hoping Scott will solve their problems by marrying their longtime culture with the short-term pressure of at least appearing making a change. It is possible that Scott could be the way forward — free of Shine, O’Reilly, and Ailes, perhaps she has a different ethos in mind for the network she has been with since its inception. (And if she is inclined to make serious change, a strong statement from her about workplace culture might assuage doubts and bolster morale — especially if it were to include an acknowledgement and apology of her own prior mistakes at the company.)

.. Scott is less a remedial influence for Fox News’ continued culture problem than she is a sanitizing one — a promotion that looks good, but provides no improvement beyond image management.

Populists of the World Unite

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon’s starring role at the recent convention of France’s far-right National Front is the latest indication that a transatlantic populist alliance is forming. Can it be stopped?

PARIS – In 1965, Henry Kissinger wrote a book called The Troubled Partnership, in which he examined the tensions affecting the transatlantic alliance during the Cold War. A stable international order, he argued, demanded the leadership of the United States – a powerful model for democracy in the world – supported by strong ties with Europe. Kissinger probably never would have imagined that, less than six decades later, the US would be playing precisely the opposite role, as a new, darker version of the transatlantic alliance emerges.

.. Even Germany has, to some extent, fallen victim to populist forces. To be sure, a new grand coalition government – comprising Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, and the Social Democratic Party – has been formed. But it took more than five months for the parties to agree, and the largest opposition party is now the far-right Alternative for Germany. In a country that seemed to have been vaccinated against populism by its Nazi history, this is a particularly distressing development. Democracy is more fragile than it may seem, and it can never be taken for granted.

.. So how can we stem the populist tide? For starters, political elites on both sides of the Atlantic who still believe in liberal democracy must recognize that it is they who are responsible for populism’s rise, owing to their failure to respond adequately to the concerns of the electorate. They must work tirelessly to find real solutions to the problems, from inequality to migration, that have fueled support for populist forces. Those solutions must address not only technical challenges, but also citizens’ feelings – skillfully tapped by populists – of disenfranchisement and loss of identity.

..  it is Macron – not Le Pen and her rebranded party – who holds the key to the future of democracy in France. If he fails to make the system work for more of the electorate, France could well go the way of the US, setting a dangerous precedent for the rest of Europe.

We Are Not the World

From Brexit to Trump to the rise of nationalist parties across Europe, the old division between left and right is giving way to a battle between self-styled patriots and confounded globalists

 Supporters of these disparate movements are protesting not just globalization—the process whereby goods, capital and people move ever more freely across borders—but globalism, the mind-set that globalization is natural and good, that global governance should expand as national sovereignty contracts.

The new nationalist surge has startled establishment parties in part because they don’t see globalism as an ideology. How could it be, when it is shared across the traditional left-right spectrum by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush and David Cameron ?

.. In the 1930s, nationalists were also expansionists who coveted other countries’ territory. Today, Mr. Trump and his ideological allies mostly want to reassert control over their own countries. Their targets are such global structures as the EU, the World Trade Organization, NATO, the U.N. and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

.. Little unites the new nationalists other than their shared antipathy toward globalism. Mr. Trump’s economic program is as far to the right as Ms. Le Pen’s is to the left. Nor do they have credible plans for replacing the institutions of globalization that they want to tear dow

.. In 1957, six European countries signed the Treaty of Rome, creating what would become the EU, hoping that economic and political integration would make war unthinkable.

.. Between 1987 and 2008, total U.S. wages adjusted for inflation rose by 53%, while the profits that U.S. companies earned abroad soared by 347%.

.. President Bill Clinton signed Nafta in 1993 in part to embed a pro-American government in Mexico

.. The late political scientist Samuel Huntington applied the caustic label “Davos man” to those who see “national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing.” For globalists, this was a badge of honor, symbolizing not just an outlook but a lifestyle of first-class departure lounges, smartphones and stock options.

.. In 2000, Mr. Clinton blessed China’s entry into the WTO. Echoing Truman, he predicted China’s membership was “likely to have a profound impact on human rights and political liberty.”

It didn’t. China adhered to the letter of its WTO obligations while systematically violating their spirit with discrimination against foreign investors and products and an artificially cheap currency.

.. Economists warned that Italy, Spain and Greece couldn’t compete with Germany without the safety valve of letting national currencies periodically devalue to offset their faster-rising costs. Sure enough, their trade deficits ballooned, but low-cost euro loans at first made them easy to finance. The loans proved unsustainable, and the resulting crisis has still not run its course.

.. Chinese and German trade surpluses could wreak havoc thanks to expanding cross-border finance. To globalists, its growth was as inexorable as that of trade. In early 2008, President George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, put out a report arguing that globalization had made much of U.S. financial regulation obsolete. The priority was to maintain “American preeminence in the global capital markets.

.. Globalists were blind to the nationalist backlash in part because their world—entrepreneurial, university-educated, ethnically diverse, urban and coastal—has thrived as whiter, less-educated hinterlands have stagnated.

.. Many globalists now assume that the discontent is largely driven by stagnant wages and inequality. If people are upset about immigration, they reason, it is largely because they fear competition with low-wage workers.

In fact, much of the backlash against immigration (and globalism) is not economic but cultural

.. in the 1980s, economic issues such as taxes and welfare became less important than noneconomic issues such as immigration, terrorism, abortion and gay rights.

..  voters were bothered less by competition from immigrants than by their perceived effect on the country’s linguistic, religious and cultural norms.

.. Europeans’ opposition to immigration was driven less by pocketbook concerns than by worries about how changes to “the composition of the local population” would affect “their neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.”

.. Yet the new nationalism often thrives on xenophobia. Mr. Trump has been criticizing free trade since the 1980s, but his candidacy took off when he started attacking Mexican immigrants and Muslims. American Jewish groups heard unsettling echoes of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories when Mr. Trump accused Mrs. Clinton of meeting “in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.”

.. In short, there is ample reason for skepticism about whether the new nationalists can prove themselves a genuinely secular, democratic alternative to globalism.

.. That globalization’s winners can compensate its losers makes impeccable economic logic, but it rings hollow among those too old to retrain or move.

.. globalists should not equate concern for cultural norms and national borders with xenophobia. Large majorities of Americans, for example, welcome immigrants so long as they

  • adopt American values,
  • learn English,
  • bring useful skills and
  • wait their turn.


U.S. Far-Right Activists Promote Hacking Attack Against Macron

“Intervening in the final hour of the official campaign, this operation is clearly a matter of democratic destabilization, as was seen in the United States during the last presidential campaign,” Mr. Macron’s campaign said in a statement late Friday, minutes before the communications prohibition went into effect.

.. By Saturday, a trail of digital crumbs appeared to tie the attack on Mr. Macron’s campaign to Russian hackers. Forensics specialists found that one of the leaked Excel documents from Mr. Macron’s campaign had been modified on a Russian version of Excel, and edited on Russian-language computers.

One document had last been modified by a Russian user named Roshka Georgiy Petrovich. Mr. Petrovich, 32, an employee of the Moscow-based Eureka CJSC, a Russian technology company, did not immediately return emails requesting comment. Eureka CJSC’s clients include several Russian government agencies

.. A week before the second round of the French election, for instance, online activists, many from the United States and other English-speaking countries, flooded Twitter with coordinated anti-Macron memes — online satirical photos with often biting captions — carrying hashtags like #elysee2017 that were linked to the campaign. That included portraying him as a 21st-century equivalent of Marie Antoinette, the out-of-touch last queen of France, and other memes made allegations of an extramarital affair.

“They tried to bombard French Twitter with memes favorable to Le Pen,”

.. posted what were said to be copies of documents showing that Mr. Macron had supposedly set up a bank account in the Bahamas to avoid paying taxes. He denied the allegations.

Ms. Le Pen referred to such an overseas bank account during the vicious debate, leading to a bitter rebuttal by Mr. Macron’s team and an official investigation into the spread of the rumors.

.. Yet in a sign of how the far right outside the country is trying to foment the discussion, many of the Twitter posts about the hacking have originated in the United States, according to Trendsmap, a data analytics tool. About half of the social media messages around political hashtags linked to the breach have been written in English

.. “Misinformation is increasingly used to achieve political ends,” Mr. Sarts said. “Technology helps to amplify that message through fake news sites and social media.”

Macron’s campaign says it has been hit by ‘massive’ hack of emails and documents

The campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said late Friday that it has been subjected to a “massive and coordinated piracy action” of emails and other internal communications.

The announcement emerged as the last official day of campaigning in France’s most contentious presidential election in decades drew to a close. Macron, an independent centrist, is facing off against the far-right populist Marine Le Pen. Voters are set to decide Sunday which candidate becomes France’s next president.

At the end of a high-stakes race, the news immediately stoked fears of a targeted operation intended to destabilize the electoral process, especially after reports of alleged Russian hacking in the U.S. presidential election in November.

.. The Kremlin has clear links to the Le Pen campaign. For years, a complex web of financial ties has linked Le Pen to Russian lending sources, and for months she has received exceedingly positive coverage in Russian state media.

.. In late March, Le Pen met in person with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Moscow.

.. the campaign’s statement said that real documents — such as emails from personal and professional accounts, contracts and accounting statements — were mixed in with false ones.

.. Unlike in the United States, campaigning in France comes to a hard stop a day before voters go to the polls. Candidates may not actively campaign in any way after the close of the campaign.

 The disclosure of the documents just before the end of Friday means the Macron campaign will not be able to address the matter extensively Saturday.

Constructing the Modern Prince

Conversely, a few months ago Macron’s qualification [for the second round] would have been hard to predict. A series of “accidents” explain how it happened: the fact that François Hollande did not stand for a second term, the scandals that hit François Fillon, Benoît Hamon’s victory over Manuel Valls in the Socialist primary, and the elimination of Alain Juppé in the primaries for the Right. All these events opened up a political space in the centre. So without these “accidents,” Macron would very probably not have reached the second round.

.. So we have to resist the temptation to think that in the first round a “revolution” took place in French politics. For over a decade the French political field has been developing toward a gradual tripartite division: a left-wing pole, a right-wing pole — each with its own internal contradictions and undercurrents — and a third pole constituted by the Front National.

.. In the Fifth Republic, reaching the presidency is of decisive importance. But without a majority in the National Assembly, it is impossible to govern. Macron only collected the support of 18% of registered voters (24% of those who voted), which is not a lot. So it is far from obvious that even if he does win the second round, he will be able to transform his victory into a parliamentary majority.

.. only able to govern by relying on MPs from the Socialist Party, the centre, and even certain sections of the Right that agree to collaborate with him.

.. I think it improbable that En Marche! will transform into a party that restructures the French political terrain. The distinction between Left and Right has deep roots in modern capitalist societies. The social roots of this distinction are connected to class conflicts over the distribution of material resources, and not simply questions of “discourse” or “values” that can become outdated.

.. The opposition between “nationals” and “neoliberals” exists within each camp. It does not replace the opposition between Left and Right, but complicates it.