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The First GOP Debate and The Elephant Not In The Room Bari Weiss

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On Wednesday night, Fox News and the streaming platform Rumble hosted the first Republican presidential debate with the eight GOP hopefuls who made the cut: North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, former governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former vice president Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. 

Missing from the stage was Donald Trump, who refused to attend the debate. Instead, he sat down Tucker Carlson—a move that allowed him to flip the bird to the RNC and allowed Tucker to do the same to Fox, who fired him a few months ago. Trump’s interview with Tucker aired exclusively on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and more than 74 million people tuned in.

Here at The Free Press, we love a good debate night, and we were up until the wee hours discussing it all. So today on Honestly, TFP reporter Olivia Reingold, TFP senior editor Peter Savodnik, and Newsweek’s opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon are here to discuss who emerged on top? Who fell by the wayside? And did the elephant not in the room still somehow manage to dominate?

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Join Me at 6:00p.m. ET Tomorrow For a Q&A on Palestine Chris Hedges

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Join me tomorrow, Friday 6:00pm ET for a live Q&A on Palestine. We will be streaming on my Twitter account and on my YouTube channel.

We will be taking questions both live and from this post on Substack. To comment here, you must be a paid subscriber. Hope to see you there!

Thank you for reading The Chris Hedges Report. This post is public so feel free to share it.

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June 19, 2024 Heather Cox Richardson

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This Company Believes in “Protecting Women’s Sports.” TikTok Banned Its Ad. Julia Steinberg

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Jennifer Sey started an apparel company that believes in “protecting women’s sports and spaces.” Its ad was just banned on TikTok. (XX-XY Athletics)

This piece was first published in our news digest, The Front Page. To get our latest scoops, investigations, and columns in your inbox every morning, Monday through Thursday, become a Free Press subscriber today:

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In March, our friend Jennifer Sey, the former Levi’s exec and Covid-19 lockdown critic, told us she was starting an apparel company for women athletes, and since then she’s done exactly that. Her company XX-XY Athletics has put leggings, t-shirts, tank tops, and hats on the market, with both women’s (XX) and men’s (XY) collections. XX-XY Athletics counts its mission, according to Sey, as “protecting women’s sports and spaces and encouraging others to do the same.” 

“If you want your daughters to have the same opportunities you had, stand up,” a recent XX-XY ad says, adding, “If you don’t think it’s fair or safe to allow men to play women’s sports, stand up.”

It turns out that this is not the sort of thing one is allowed to say on TikTok. The Chinese-owned social media platform quickly banned the ad on the grounds that it “may violate TikTok’s advertising policies by featuring offensive content.” Sey posted on X, “When you run an ad standing up for women and girls’ sports, you get banned for life from @tiktok_us.” 

Sey, who was a champion gymnast herself, told me that the ads were on TikTok for less than a week before they were taken down—and that XX-XY’s account has been suspended from posting any ads on the platform. “They offered no reason for how we violated their policies,” Sey said. “Despite the fact that I find the ad quite uplifting, it’s anodyne.” (Watch it for yourself here.) 

Sey’s team will likely appeal TikTok’s decision, which has become a critically important platform for reaching young people. “Fifty percent of people under 30 are on TikTok,” she said. “You gotta fish where the fish are.” At the very least, Sey wants an explanation of what policy she violated.

Julia Steinberg is an intern at The Free Press. Read her piece on the college dropout who unlocked the secrets of ancient Rome using AI. And follow her on X @Juliaonatroika.

 

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