Et Tu, Bloomberg?

Climate Litigation and Politics 2020: A Tale of Two Media Blackouts

from Climate Litigation Watch

Media mogul, climate activist and financier of the climate litigation industry Michael Bloomberg recently announced his candidacy for President of the United States. At the same time, a memo leaked about Bloomberg News’s plans to cover the Presidential election (or, in part, to not cover it). As laid out in a WaPo headline: Bloomberg News will avoid investigating Mike Bloomberg during his presidential campaign.

It’s slightly less self-serving than WaPo suggests, if more nakedly partisan. As CNBC put it, “Bloomberg News will not investigate Mike Bloomberg or his Democratic rivals during primary“.

CLW is disappointed not only because of the glaring conflict of interest (if mildly heartened by the atypical acknowledgement of political partisanship by a major media outlet).

More parochially, this eliminates one outlet among those that might, at least in theory, at long last take an interest in the remarkable arrangement chronicled here on CLW: Bloomberg uses his wealth to staff activist attorneys general to promote his agenda (just ask Virginia’s OAG if that’s the reasonable take-away) — which AGs report back to Bloomberg’s pass-through, which in turn reports back bi-weekly and in detail on the investment to Bloomberg’s foundation.

Substitute Trump (or Koch) for Bloomberg and Trump Foundation (or Koch Foundation) for Bloomberg Philanthropies to pressure test in your own mind whether this is something the media might typically find curious. It’s an easy call. Heck, even Bloomberg News might look into that one (we kid).

This means that only one presidential candidate will be subject to Bloomberg News “investigative journalism”.

Let that sink in.

Mr. Bloomberg owns a media empire, The Bloomberg Media Group

This includes television, print, radio, and digital media.

Arguably this does not turn Bloomberg News into, well, “Bloomberg News”. But it does advertise that the operation is, for so long as the 2020 campaign continues, in whole or in part a campaign enterprise.

Whatever implications arise from various long-standing Communication Commission (FCC) rules, such as the Equal Time Rule, we leave to the Trump campaign.

What’s more interesting is that Mr. Bloomberg is yet again at the center of an ethical conundrum for what he views as salvationist endeavors — Mr. Bloomberg has concluded that Pres. Trump, like climate change, is an “existential threat” that he has been called to stop.

That this non-candidate was using his influence and resources to stack state departments of justice and attorneys general offices with activists “to advance the agenda represented by” Bloomberg’s groups was already unprecedented.

Yet this breathtaking move received the same free pass from media scrutiny that Mr. Bloomberg’s news operation has now instructed its operation give his candidacy. Not just from Bloomberg News. The entire media establishment yawned (dare we say fawned).

Now we have a billionaire presidential candidate not just stacking law enforcement with activists to advance his agenda, but one with a media empire and an agenda, underwriting (and profiting from) investigating his most important opponent.

The combination of this scheme, and its originator running for president, is something of a test: is he immune from scrutiny that would be afforded his opponent, “because climate”, “because Trump”?

Consider this question in coming months, with the next state attorney general’s litigation for which Bloomberg-financed attorneys were provided — Massachusetts’s, led by Mr. Bloomberg’s AG recruiter, Maura Healey. Or the “climate nuisance” litigation supported by Bloomberg-financed “Special Assistant Attorneys General”. Ask, is this how the media would treat this as it would if, say, it was Trump doing it? If not, how is the media’s blind eye toward Mr. Bloomberg underwriting ideological law enforcement any different than what Bloomberg News is doing for the 2020 campaign?


References:

  1.  Miller, Philip (Feb 11, 2013). Media Law for Producers. CRC Press. p. 340. ISBN 9781136046025. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
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48 thoughts on “Et Tu, Bloomberg?

  1. ★★★★★

    Don’t forget that Mikey started his career as a salesman for Salomon Brothers (think Liar’s Poker).

    • They want non violent criminals out. (Even those who distribute poison to children?)

      But not some wealthy people who cheated to make their children enter a university. They want those jailed longer than a few weeks because somehow they view that as very serious. But lying about of Indian origin while registering to a university is OK apparently (honest error?).

      Also, they want to get life for Roger Stone for apparently(?) lying about perfectly legal email (or private messages) contacts with Wikileaks in an investigation that could not even legally investigate Wikileaks as no evidence emerged that Wikileaks coordinated in any way with Russia, and the investigation was about Russia interference and “collusion”, not foreign publisher or the whole foreign media establishment (which was massively anti Trump so why not investigate interference by the media?).

      • Sorry, the end mass incarceration movement is about releasing violent criminals based upon their race. If it was about only releasing nonviolent criminals far more people would support it. And yes, I support getting nonviolent criminals out of the system. I also support ending the “plea down” system. You commit a crime with a weapon, any weapon, that should be top of the charge sheet. Instead we have a movement all across the US to “de-criminalize” crime which is leading to more crime, and many violent criminals getting the violent part of their crimes covered up because 164 years ago blacks were slaves in America, with many others getting same because, well, mommy did not hug them enough or some such nonsense. Criminal Justice reform should be about fixing a screwed up system.

    • The former FEC chairwoman implied it didn’t have to be a tangible good or even have a known fair market value so… it’s a contribution to an election and needs to be reported, on an unknown page of an undetermined form, and to be evaluated with a non existant method to give it a value, and checked against allowed election contributions!

      Or, maybe the leftist clowns and their friends (I’m looking at you Kavanaugh) could drop that “sanctity of US elections” and the war against “foreign interference” (and the hate of Citizens United).

      People are going to “meddle” into your “sacred” election process. It’s called the real world.

      If the US was serious with its “sanctity”, it would make extremely strong US laws against state meddling in foreign elections – US laws as laws that apply to US citizens.

      “We the People” applies to any People not just Americans. Does Kavanaugh think Americans are the Chosen Ones and have a God given right to meddle abroad and also forbid meddling?

      • Ah, Bloomberg is an American, he is running for office, and he has publicly ordered his media companies to shield Democrats and attack all American citizens who support Trump. How did you come to the conclusion he is a foreign national “meddling” in US politics?

        • The distinction of national vs. foreign is not central here; it’s a legal distraction promoted by conforming “conservative” people like Judge Kavanaugh. The issue is that the Stormy, Putin-Wikileaks (allegedly), and Trump-Zelensky-Burisma-Biden(s) stories were interpreted as:

          Newsworthy-Contribution Equivalence Principe: anything newsworthy can potentially be a “political contribution” in kind, if it either reflects badly on your opponent, shows you in a good light, or avoid showing you in a bad light. So anything connected to a political person or political subject.

          Former FEC chairwoman clearly said so (re: Stormy-Cohen-Trump), and she wasn’t even the first. She just confirmed that (crazy) legal theory.

          1) I wonder if you can still do international politics with these rules. Or internal politics.
          2) Or have a free press outside the US that is free to discuss US politics. It’s an “interference”.
          3) Or have a free press inside the US, given that anything political in nature can be interpreted (and will be interpreted by the loser) as a contribution in nature.
          4) Or have state run US propaganda run outside the US, as the other countries are going to point to the usual abject hypocrisy of the US.

          US-Hypocrisy-Americans-Hypocrites-Principle: In the event the hypocrisy of Americans complaining about receiving what they have been (like forever) promoting for others (election meddling, aka, free and protected and state controlled non constitutionally protected, political speech), being pointed out, these Americans will denounce that reflection as an attack; and the act of pointing out that the level of “proven” (as in, alleged established by the report allegedly written by Mueller) foreign interference by Russia doesn’t rise to the level of proven foreign interference by the US will classified as a foreign interference by Russia.

          Now I can only guess that principle of squared hypocrisy, being subject to mocking for its more than abject hypocrisy, will be classified as an interference in an exponential runaway train of circular hypocrisy.

          Now the issue in Europe is that America is trashed for almost everything from Trump complaining about NATO spending (an issue which nobody in Europe denies, BTW) to pollution to making good travel all over the world with free commerce to tariffs that make less goods travel all over the world; to GMOs, to hormones in cows (although given unproven hormonal treatments to women is OK), but not for the hypocrite rejection of “meddling” as if the US was the one country under God and not one country under God.

          The issue of the so called Mueller report tiptoeing over “free speech” instead of plainly rejecting the “speech as interference/collusion” thing should caused each and every ambassador to be at least summoned, or for the US to get humiliating sanctions for its Mueller political speech/meddling supremacism. That nothing happened shows how useless Europe is. I would have expelled the US ambassador until the DOJ makes at least a memo to prevent any legal action against Internet Research Agency, Concord Management and Consulting, or any source of “Russian disinformation” on accusations of things the average US person cannot explain, like “conspiracy again the US”; prove discrete intelligible accusations (like stealing the ID of a real person) or drop it.

          That the so called US conservatives didn’t all immediately request such a memo repudiating the “Mueller report” “legal analysis” proves the sorry state of the so called “conservative” thinking (outside TheDC and “populist” outlets). The Mueller thing being taken seriously by a judge is one of the most disturbing decisions of recent times.

          Apparently they can’t imagine that what goes around comes around.

          The goal of the project was “information warfare against the United States of America,” the indictment asserts. The scheme involved intelligence gathering activities inside the U.S. as well as interactions with U.S. political activists. Concord’s goal was ultimately to tilt the election away from former Secretary Hillary Clinton and toward Trump, according to the indictment.

          https://dailycaller.com/2018/05/14/concorde-management-rod-rod-rosenstein-robert-mueller-make-believe-charges/

          I don’t believe that to be provable in court or even plausible. But if it was, then: deal with it.

          The US needs to write clarifying, restrictive interpretation of FEC regulations, election laws, the definition of obstruction of justice, the Logan Act (maybe that last one can be turned into internal regulation for former public servants only). And that “conspiration against the US” thing is as superficially impressive as it’s ridiculous. Drop it.

          The US laws are out of control. They seem to have a life by themselves. It began with the “violation of the Logan Act” claim during transition. Not yet President Trump was going to violate the act by doing or not doing something anyway, by speaking or not speaking with a foreign leader… Again an issue of political exchanges.

          The legal status of free speech about US politics really looks catastrophic for citizens of every country in the world.

          • Bloomberg has directly ordered his employees not to report on Democrat Party candidates or himself and directly ordered them to attack all American citizens who support Trump, Trump’s family members, Trump’s Presidential staff and their family members and any Republican officeholder who supports Trump. All this after he entered the US Presidential race. If all that is not “contribution in kind” to his own Presidential campaign then nothing is.

          • I’m pretty sure he will use the “out of jail” card: “it’s his own business so it isn’t illegal”.

            But it would be interesting to ask the former chairwoman.

            And depending on the result, just dissolve the FEC, if it’s certain that there won’t be consensus on even basic truth. FEC can only be justified by consensus on at least some stuff. Otherwise it’s another predatory political toxic group.

          • No, he is a Presidential Candidate, the laws do cover him, and he has blithely admitted in several publicly attended and nationally broadcast press events that he did exactly that. He ordered his media company employees to shield all Democrat Party members and to attack all American citizens who support Donald Trump. Period. Full stop. Americans don’t like being attacked. In case you have not been paying attention, piss on us and we f**k you. Might rebuild your country after the fact, pretty sure we ain’t gonna rebuild Mikee’s empire of lies.

  2. But when it is the leftwing doing something the normal rules never apply. Anything for the cause.

    • Gerry, England
      ” Anything for the cause.” Yes, that is the crux of the problem. Zealots manage to rationalize that ANY means is justified by the end because it is a moral struggle.

  3. Bloomberg always reminded me of the fictional newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane from the movie “Citizen Kane”. One of my favorite scenes in that movie has Kane talking with his wife Emily (about 53 minutes in):

    Emily: “Really, Charles, people will think…”

    Kane: “What I tell them to think.”

    Oh how true that is. The gullible, naïve, etc. believe what they’re told to believe by mainstream media.

    Regards,
    Bob

    • LOL “Rosebud”

      I agree, it’s called reach and frequency. It’s a tactic used by enviromental and political groups to spin the news. Note, news coverage is free advertising.

      There is an ethical aspect to this but in Bloomberg’s case I suspect he’s simply trying to avoid backlash.

      If Bloomberg media outlets were to attack his Democrat opponents, all other news organizations would immediately cry foul.

      Should a media mogul be allowed to run for President? Thank heavens we have the Electoral College?

      • Excerpt:
        The reason that the Constitution calls for this extra layer [Electoral College], rather than just providing for the direct election of the president, is that most of the nation’s founders were actually rather afraid of democracy. James Madison worried about what he called “factions,” which he defined as groups of citizens who have a common interest in some proposal that would either violate the rights of other citizens or would harm the nation as a whole. Madison’s fear – which Alexis de Tocqueville later dubbed “the tyranny of the majority” – was that a faction could grow to encompass more than 50 percent of the population, at which point it could “sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.” Madison has a solution for tyranny of the majority: “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”

        Though most past Presidents were/are millionaires in inflation adjusted 2018 USD, none (I can find), owned what equates to the “Free Press”.

        No question, the Climate Change faction is a threat to citizen rights and our Nation as a whole. Greens are a minor fraction of the popular vote yet, vote wisely.

        • John McClure
          And still, Alexis de Tocqueville expressed a concern about the potential for “Tyranny of the majority,”

          • John
            You remarked, “H/t Founding Fathers for the insights as no faction should ever be allowed to threaten Citizen Rights or our Nation as a Whole.”

            Despite the “insights,” de Tocqueville still had concerns over the potential for the “insights” not being adequate to prevent “Citizen Rights” being threatened.

        • “Though most past Presidents were/are millionaires in inflation adjusted 2018 USD, none (I can find), owned what equates to the “Free Press”.”

          JFK, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Obama all “owned” the “free press”. Contra: For some time, I have believed the free press owned/owns the Democrats.

    • Indeed. I don’t know if there is word for the kind of idiocy when people believe that the hacked DNC servers that are “on the cloud” so don’t really exist also were “rebuild” and one is on display in the DNC:

      “CrowdStrike never took physical possession of any DNC server.”
      “So: Not Ukrainian. No physical server”

      Same. F*cking. Article: https://www.wired.com/story/trump-ukraine-server-delusion-spreading/

      There is never any physical server, but then we didn’t have to move it. Delusion is the correct word they just don’t know when it apply it.

      Next time, they should say they never took the vase, they gave it back intact and it was already broken when they took it anyway.

      “Trump’s Ukraine server conspiracy theory is a chair with no legs.”

      More like: Wired is a brain with no connection and no neurone.

  4. He has saturated our airwaves with his ads here in Florida with his rags to riches, helped NY NY after 911, took on the coal lobby, addressed gun violence and climate change (good, glad to hear we’re done with that scam, thank you Mike!). I’m not even sure he is registered here on the ballot yet. I wonder if he isn’t more in this race to simply saturate the airwaves to bloody Trump before getting out?

    Ask, is this how the media would treat this as it would if, say, it was Trump doing it? If not, how is the media’s blind eye toward Mr. Bloomberg underwriting ideological law enforcement any different than what Bloomberg News is doing for the 2020 campaign?

    I think it is safe to say that, at this time in US history anything any democrat does is above the law and anything a conservative or republican does is immediately suspect. That so far everyone from that last administration is still walking free is a testament to how we’re turning into a banana republic.

    • Yeah, I’m already getting tired of those commercials. Especially the part about how Mikey fought climate change. What a maroon. He should’a just stopped at ‘middle-class kid made good’.

    • “He has saturated our airwaves with his ads here in Florida with his rags to riches, helped NY NY after 911, took on the coal lobby, addressed gun violence and climate change”

      I saw that ad. Bloomberg wasted his money on that one. He was dull, not inspirational.

  5. This means that only one presidential candidate will be subject to Bloomberg News “investigative journalism”.

    That’s not true. William Weld is also subject to the same harsh scrutiny that DJT will be.

    Hahahahahahahaha….ha

  6. Clearly the President has gone into the wrong enterprise. He should have bought media outlets instead of hotels and golf courses. But somehow I think Bloomberg is wasting his money.

    • He’s using his candidate status to run anti-Trump and anti-Republican ads in the states he has filed for Democratic presidential Primaries.
      As of Wednesday morning, Mikey has filed for Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, and Arizona primaries. Does anyone with a brain really think a carpet bagging Billionaire Democrat have a chance in those states in the General election should defy the odds and get the nom? Trump won those red states by promising to protect gun rights, tough on illegal immigration, and an energy economy. Bloomberg as Democrat promises to do the opposite in all those areas.

      So what’s Little Mikey’s angle here? Why is he running?
      Each of those four states has a US Senate seat on the ballot for 2020. Mikey’s focus appears to be centered on a strategy to turn the US Senate over to Democrats and using his millions to run ads in those states.

  7. From the article: “That this non-candidate [Bloomberg] was using his influence and resources to stack state departments of justice and attorneys general offices with activists “to advance the agenda represented by” Bloomberg’s groups was already unprecedented.”

    I think the FBI should be investigating Bloomberg’s buying of local District Attorneys around the nation. It looks like a criminal enterprise to me, and at the least, this activity should receive public scrutiny. Some people may be surprised to learn their local District Attorney is owned, and does the bidding, of billionaire Mike Bloomberg.

    • George Soros has several “organizations” set up to influence DA and state Secretary of State positions throughout America, funneling money and personnel to campaigns, it has been going on since 2004 or so. He also did this in Cali and NY towards the end of the Clinton admin.

  8. When Bloomberg was the Republican mayor of NYC, he had an excellent relationship with the police chief, their union, and the rank and file cops. Crime continued to fall during his 3 terms, a trend started by Republican Mayor Guilliani before him after disastrous decades of violent mugging and property crime increases under Democrat mayors.

    Then the first thing the newly declared Democrat Bloomberg had to do when he declared his run for the Democrats nomination was apologize for his tough on criminals and helping to make NYC safer for its residents and visitors. His statement was strongly criticized by the NYC cops union as a betrayal.

    Let that sink in about what it means to be a Democrat politician in today’s Democratic Party. A party where being a politician in it requires bowing to criminals and criticizing police for doing the tough job of facing them everyday at your job. Remember, the first thing Bloomberg had to do as Democrat was apologize for reducing crime in his city.

    And if Democrats have to lie about approaches on crime and need for being tough on criminals to protect society, should climate change claims be any different an ethical challenge for them?

    • Joel
      I was once walking on the streets of NY (1967) trying to get to the bus depot. I was in military uniform, carrying my duffel bag, when two guys, in broad daylight, attempted to relieve me of my duffel bag under the guise of trying to help me. NY has a long history of anti-social behavior by its inhabitants.

    • JOEL,

      At the same time Bloomberg, Soros and the Democrats writ large are trashing the police, releasing illegal alien criminals without notifying ICE and promising to release large numbers of violent criminals from prison (recall, most prisoners plead down to a lessor crime to avoid being charged with use of a gun in commission of their crime etc.), they want to end the 2nd Amendment and take away the guns of law abiding citizens. My question is why do they want to increase the numbers of violent criminals on the streets while taking our guns away? There must be some reason they promote letting criminals to include their beloved illegal alien ones out on the streets while simultaneously disarming the citizenry. What is their end goal? This is irrational but we know these are rational people (mostly).
      Why?

      • I’m pretty sure they will oppose at the very least the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 14th.

        Can anyone bet on a constitutional amendment they would never trash?

  9. Mike Bloomberg, raised property taxes by 18% in one year. He said it would be temporary. He lied. The tax remained on the books and compounded over the years with further increases has helped force middle class people to flee New York City. Great job Mayor Mike!!

  10. In all fairness, the author of this post, the writers at other news organizations, and some commenters here have ignored the primary source, which is the Bloomberg Editorial Board’s own statement. In pertinent part it says:

    “We will have no contact with the candidate or his campaign about what we’ve written or might write. We have also decided that it is wisest to suspend publication of our unsigned editorials so long as Mike is a candidate. Members of the editorial board will write and edit in other capacities within Bloomberg Opinion. Because our columnists have always spoken for themselves, they will continue as before — though columnists will still refrain from endorsing candidates, a policy we have had in place since we started in 2011. Finally, we will not publish op-ed articles that relate to or are affiliated with any candidate or any presidential campaign, including Mike’s.”

    It did not say that the Bloomberg organization would not report on Bloomberg or his campaign.

    Go read it yourself: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-24/a-note-from-bloomberg-opinion

    A significant caveat is that no mainstream media media organization has done a fraction of the reporting on the warmunist political agitation that outsider organizations such as Daily Caller and WWUT have

    • They can use all the lawyerly weasel words they want, Mikee WILL be supported and defended by his media operations through their attacks against American voters and DJT. Don’t fool yourself, anyone who votes for or in any manner supports DJT is an enemy Mikee and his flying monkey minions will do all in their power to tear down.

    • Chris,
      Bloomberg is quite frightening. He would be quite at home filling Xi’s shoes as dictator, wouldn’t he?
      I note he does not mention that moving the coal plants away from cities has no effect on the CO2 released by them into the Global Atmosphere. This makes one wonder if he really doesn’t believe that CO2 is a problem.

  11. I would just ask Mr. Bloomberg, if elected president and reelected for a second term, would he use the state of the climate or any other “emergency” to attempt to overturn the 22nd amendment to run for a third term? If not, why would that be different than overriding the will of NYC voters to run for and serve a third term as NYC mayor due to the 2007-8 financial crisis?

    • I’m pretty sure he would suspend
      – first amendment for hate speech, hate of climate “science” speech, hate of academia,hate of the Intelligencia, rejection of “facts”, “false” political advertising (read twitter it’s terrifying how many people think “false advertising” applies to political speech
      – second amendment for pretty much anyone but especially those guilty of trying to use free speech to commit climate sin
      – fourth, fifth … goes without saying, true for most politicians; they will say that “no one is above the law” so “how dare you prevent us from spying on you”, so it’s OK to spy on journalists, on congressmen, on anybody for any pretext. Even on your lawyer. Especially on your lawyer.

      Think the Kavanaugh circus was over the top? They think they should have been more egregious, less respectful.

      They think a cop killer with ten witnesses should go free because of a small quibble on jury instructions but the Anti Defamation League insists that the people involved in that Malheur refuge nonsense should be retried even after serious prosecutorial misconduct.

  12. Will it change anything?

    Was Bloomberg investigating anything that couldn’t be used against conservatives? Ever?

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