As the United States inches closer back to normalcy, various buildings and locations are welcoming back people to 100-percent capacity, and The White House press briefing room is one of them.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, our priority has been to keep journalists safe while ensuring that the critical work of informing the public could continue uninterrupted,” the White House Correspondents Association said in a memo relayed by The Hill.
“We appreciate the sacrifices made by every member of the press corps, and we thank you all for your cooperation over the last 15 months.”
Beginning this week, The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room will not only see a total capacity return, but the White House Correspondents Association’s pre-pandemic seating chart is also coming back.
More than 98-percent of the 500 member journalists who replied to a recent survey stated they were fully vaccinated, indicating more than two weeks had gone by since their second coronavirus vaccine dose or the only shot of a single-shot regimen.
Alex Jones Liable by Default in Sandy Hook Defamation Suit
The families of Sandy Hook victims are suing Jones in both Texas and Connecticut courts
Infowars founder Alex Jones has lost another defamation lawsuit pertaining to his claims regarding the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting. A Connecticut state court found Jones liable by default handing a victory to the families of eight people killed.
The reason for Judge Barbara Bellis giving this verdict is due to Jones not handing over financial and analytics data requested on various occasions by the Sandy Hook family plaintiffs.
“All the defendants have failed to fully and fairly comply with their discovery obligations,” Bellis said.
The families of Sandy Hook victims are suing Jones in both Texas and Connecticut courts over his past claims where he stated that the tragedy was a hoax and that it was a staged event. Jones has since admitted that the shooting did occur.
“While the families are grateful for the Court’s ruling, they remain focused on uncovering the truth. As the Court noted, Alex Jones and his companies have deliberately concealed evidence of the relationship between what they publish and how they make money,” Chris Mattei of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, which represents the plaintiffs said.
“Mr. Jones was given every opportunity to comply but, when he chose instead to withhold evidence for more than two years, the Court was left with no choice but to rule as it did today. While today’s ruling is a legal victory, the battle to shed light on how deeply Mr. Jones has harmed these families continues.”
The cases will now transition to a hearing and damages. Jones did address the verdict on his Monday show. “We need to defend all of our speech rights to say whatever it is we wish. That’s the First Amendment,” Jones said.
Substack Hits Milestone With One Million Paid Subscriptions
Co-founder Hamish McKenzie stated that the top 10 publications on Substack draw in over $20 million per year.
Substack has reached a significant milestone in its history. The newsletter company announced that they hit 1 million paid subscriptions. In addition, co-founder Hamish McKenzie stated that the top 10 publications on Substack draw in over $20 million per year.
“These are subscriptions that didn’t exist before – they’re not being siphoned off from traditional media outlets or redistributed from other platforms,” McKenzie said.
“They represent a rush of new money into the media ecosystem, the vast majority of it going directly to writers.”
McKenzie notes that it’s not enough despite the growth, and the company wants to continue growing as they have become a vital source for media members.
For example, Bari Weiss departed The New York Times to launch a newsletter, and Glenn Greenwald moved on from The Intercept, which he co-founded.
“Our pitch to writers has always been: ‘We’ll take care of everything except the hard part.’ You don’t have to know anything about tech or business to succeed on Substack. You can set up your personal media empire in minutes,” McKenzie said.
“With the subscription model, you can generate meaningful revenue without having to reach millions of readers. If you can convince a thousand people to subscribe for $5 a month, you’ll make more than $50,000 a year. A few thousand subscribers is enough for total financial security.”
U.S. Journalist Danny Fenster Released From Myanmar Prison
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson had face-to-face negotiations where Fenster’s release was granted.
After a Myanmar court handed American journalist Danny Fenster an 11-year sentence, it seems as though those trying to get him released have paid off.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson told The Associated Press that Fenster was released. Following a visit to Myanmar, Richardson had face-to-face negotiations where Fenster’s release was granted.
“This is the day that you hope will come when you do this work,” Richardson said. “We are so grateful that Danny will finally be able to reconnect with his loved ones, who have been advocating for him all this time, against immense odds.”
The U.S. State Department stated the imprisonment of Fenster “profoundly unjust” and had requested officials in Myanmar to release him.
Fenster was detained in May, and last week, a court found him guilty of incitement for allegedly spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting criminal organizations, and breaking visa regulations.
“When Danny cleared Burmese airspace, and we knew he was free, this was probably the happiest moment of my time in Congress,” Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) said following the release of Fenster.
The American journalist is more than 100 journalists, media officials, or publishers in custody following the military grabbing control of the country in February.
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