Politics & Government

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Episode 739: Finding The Fake-News King

Dec 2, 2016

A few days before the election, an extraordinary story popped up in hundreds of thousands of people's Facebook feeds. This story was salacious. It was vivid, filled with intriguing details. There was a photo of a burning house, firemen rushing in. The headline read, "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide."

President-elect Donald Trump has been speaking on the phone with numerous world leaders since his election, but a call Friday has the potential to cause diplomatic waves. The Trump transition office confirms Trump spoke with the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen.

The call has raised eyebrows because the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979, when it recognized mainland China. And it's believed to be the first time a U.S. president or president-elect has spoken with a Taiwanese leader since then.

This week in race: Sports (dog) whistles, protection for Dreamers, a special book—and some hunky calendar men. Really.

Now that the turkey endorphins have worn off, the leftovers are a distant memory, and the Obamas prepare for their last Christmas in the White House, we thought we'd put some of the things that happened over the holiday weekend (and this week) on a platter and offer them to you. No thank you notes required.

Race and Immigration:

Michelle Maternowski

Update, Dec. 2, 4:08 P.M.

A federal court in Madison will not temporarily halt the Wisconsin recount, while opponents challenge it. U.S. District Judge James Peterson will let both the recount and the legal challenge proceed simultaneously. He rejected a motion from Trump supporters to halt the process, stating that there is no harm in allowing the recount to continue. Peterson has scheduled a court hearing on their lawsuit for Dec. 9, just four days before the state's final vote tally is due.   

Update, Dec. 2:

If you're curious about what people really think about some of the hottest of hot-button food controversies, the Pew Research Center has just the thing for you: a survey of attitudes toward genetic modification, organic food and the importance of eating healthfully.

The survey results are published in a 99-page report that can keep you occupied for days. But if you're pressed for time, here are some of the most interesting highlights that caught our eye.

The post-election uproar over fake news and far-right websites is taking its toll on the advertising industry. Kellogg's announced it is pulling ads from the site Breitbart — which publishes right-wing content. Other brands are planning similar moves. But there's one big reason to believe this is just a short-term reaction in the heat of the moment, not a long-term trend.

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For more on this and the rest of the week in politics, we turn to David Brooks of The New York Times.

Welcome back, David.

DAVID BROOKS, BYLINE: Good to be here.

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Friday afternoon, four candidates for Democratic National Committee chair will gather in Denver to debate the future of the embattled party.

For Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the forum will be a chance to respond to a growing backlash against his bid to run the DNC.

Ellison appeared to be the early favorite when he entered the race. He earned endorsements from two powerful voices – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Retired Gen. James Mattis' nomination to be President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of defense may, well, march through the Senate, but there is one potential obstacle to maneuver around: the retired general part.

The National Security Act of 1947, which established the current national defense structure, had a key stipulation, requiring that the secretary of defense be a civilian well removed from military service. In fact, the law is quite clear:

Donald Trump kicked off his postelection "thank you tour" with a Thursday-night rally that sounded a lot like any of his campaign rallies. He said trade was dangerous, he warned about refugees, and his mention of his former opponent, Hillary Clinton, prompted supporters to chant "lock her up."

As was the case at many times on the campaign trail, Trump's presentation of facts requires some fact-checking and context. Here's a look at the president-elect's Thursday-night speech.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President-elect Trump held a campaign-style rally in Cincinnati last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you.

(CHEERING)

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