Cumulus Media, a chat radio firm with a roster of fashionable right-wing personalities together with Dan Bongino, Mark Levin and Ben Shapiro, has ordered its workers at 416 stations nationwide to avoid endorsing misinformation about election fraud or utilizing language that promotes violent protest.
Brian Philips, an government vp of Cumulus, issued the directive in a stern memo on Wednesday after a pro-Trump mob breached the halls of Congress. Addressed to workers working within the firm’s programming and expertise divisions, together with these at its syndication arm, Westwood One, the memo included an introduction in daring typeface, with many phrases capitalized for emphasis.
“We have to assist induce nationwide calm NOW,” it started.
“Cumulus and Westwood One is not going to tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended,” the memo continued. “The election has resolved, there are not any alternate acceptable ‘paths.’ Please inform your staffs that we have now ZERO TOLERANCE for any suggestion in any other case. For those who transgress this coverage, you possibly can anticipate to separate from the corporate instantly. There will probably be no dog-whistle discuss ‘stolen elections,’ ‘civil wars’ or another language that infers violent public disobedience is warranted, ever.”
The memo, which was first reported by Inside Music Media, underlined a press release on the finish of the paragraph: “By means of all of our communication channels, together with social, we’ll work to induce restoration of PEACE AND ORDER.”
Cumulus didn’t reply to requests for remark. The corporate owns and operates 416 radio stations throughout 86 markets, together with WMAL in Washington, WNBM in New York and KABC in Los Angeles.
In 2020, right-wing radio was a hotbed of baseless election fraud speculation, with hosts spouting a few of the similar debunked arguments later repeated by the mob that stormed the Capitol and have been echoed by Trump supporters threatening armed protests exterior state authorities buildings within the days to come back.
Mr. Levin has tweeted a couple of “massive fraud perpetrated against the president” and promoted the Jan. 6 demonstration within the days main as much as it. On the Wednesday episode of his radio present, Mr. Levin, who additionally hosts a Fox Information program on Sunday nights, criticized those that stormed the Capitol, however defended “people who find themselves peacefully protesting” in opposition to “a stolen election” — a characterization that has been repeatedly debunked as false.
Mr. Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and a present Fox Information contributor, was additionally an investor in Parler, a social media app fashionable with Trump supporters. In an appearance on Fox News on Monday, Mr. Bongino fulminated in opposition to the suspension of Parler by main expertise corporations, referring to “the communists at Apple and Amazon and Google.”
Mr. Bongino, who hosts a podcast and has a preferred Fb web page, has raised questions on what he has referred to as “irregularities” within the 2020 election. On an episode of his podcast in November, he stated, referring to the election, “Girls and gents, these claims that there are not any proof of fraud are completely absurd.” On the day after the storming of the Capitol, he stated he wouldn’t let go of his perception that “we had an election with unbelievably suspect conduct, and we higher rattling properly repair it.” On Monday’s episode of his radio present, Mr. Bongino stated that “ideas about what occurred within the election, the constitutionality, are in dispute and ought to be.”
Efforts to contact Mr. Bongino and Mr. Levin have been unsuccessful. Mr. Shapiro, who stated in an electronic mail on Monday that he had neither heard from Cumulus executives nor obtained a memo about protection of election outcomes, declared in October that he deliberate to vote for Mr. Trump however has additionally repeatedly burdened that the president has not produced evidence of voting fraud.
Brian Rosenwald, the writer of “Speak Radio’s America” and a scholar in residence on the College of Pennsylvania, famous that speak radio has been “a large pressure on the fitting” for the reason that late 1980s, when Rush Limbaugh, a backer of the president’s baseless election-fraud claims, was ascendant, and was a key to Mr. Trump’s political rise.
“Base voters wished somebody who gave the impression of their favourite hosts, and Trump was simply utilizing the speak radio playbook,” Mr. Rosenwald stated. “A number of the anger on the fitting that’s channeled into Trump was one thing hosts have been selecting up of their audiences and voicing lengthy earlier than Trump got here alongside.”
Ray Appleton, a chat radio host in Fresno, Calif., was suspended by the Cumulus-owned central California station KMJ after saying on his Thursday present that “sure information editors ought to be hanged, perhaps,” The Fresno Bee reported.
The Cumulus memo is a part of a wave of censure from company America, one which has included banks and blue-chip businesses distancing themselves from the president and his allies, and social media companies throwing agitators off their platforms.
“Cumulus has a giant, broad set of pursuits — they’ve advertisers, sports activities contracts, nonconservative podcasts, dealings with the F.C.C. over station licensing,” Mr. Rosenwald stated. “They perceive that when you get entangled in one thing that dangers instigating violence, there’s a severe hazard to the underside line.”
Sarah Sobieraj, a sociology professor at Tufts College, stated that current occasions supplied a possibility to rethink how “hyper-ideological areas” are used to unfold data.
“We might have seen the enterprise mannequin that relied on making individuals really feel indignant and afraid to drive consideration attain its breaking level,” she stated. “Media of us far and huge are most likely asking the identical questions: May we be alienating members of the viewers, shedding buyers and advertisers? We are able to’t simply preserve amping up.”
Greater than 57,000 probably ineligible debtors collected $3.6 billion from the federal government’s flagship small-business aid program final yr, the Small Enterprise Administration’s inspector common stated Monday.
The inspector common’s workplace matched the checklist of Paycheck Safety Program mortgage recipients to the Treasury Division’s Do Not Pay checklist and located that simply over 1 p.c of this system’s 5 million debtors raised pink flags.
The Treasury system tracks events that aren’t eligible for federal funds, together with lifeless individuals, those that have defaulted on federal money owed and firms barred from receiving federal contracts.
The report echoed earlier warnings from lawmakers and authorities watchdogs that the $523 billion program’s emphasis on pace opened the door to criminals and scammers. The federal government instructed banks, which issued the loans, to approve and fund functions in as little as a day, and it eradicated a lot of the safeguards that usually accompany loans — together with in any other case routine checks to substantiate an applicant’s id and eligibility.
The Home Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Disaster stated in October that it had identified more than $4 billion in probably improper loans, and a few bankers believe the final total will be much higher.
The stimulus invoice handed final month included $284 billion to restart the Paycheck Safety Program, and the S.B.A. began accepting applications on Monday from a small group of lenders.
This time, each software despatched to the company will probably be checked in opposition to the Do Not Pay database, Jovita Carranza, the company’s administrator, stated in a written response included within the inspector common’s report.
The Federal Commerce Fee reached a settlement Monday with an app developer accused of utilizing pictures customers had uploaded for safekeeping to construct facial recognition databases.
The corporate, Everalbum, for years operated a photo-storage app referred to as Ever. The fee, in its first case targeted completely on facial recognition expertise, stated in a complaint that the corporate had used pictures saved within the Ever app to develop facial recognition expertise that it offered to purchasers for “safety, entry management and facilitating funds.” The corporate additionally enabled facial recognition within the Ever app with out asking customers first, the company stated in its criticism.
The developer shut down the app final yr.
Underneath the phrases of the proposed settlement, the corporate will conform to delete pictures from customers who deactivated their accounts. It can additionally delete facial recognition fashions that have been developed utilizing pictures from the app.
The corporate didn’t instantly reply to a number of requests for remark.
Ford Motor stated on Monday that it might stop making cars and trucks in Brazil, closing two vegetation instantly and a 3rd later within the yr as a part of a reorganization of its ailing South American operations.
The corporate has struggled on the continent for years, and it stated the coronavirus pandemic had elevated “persistent business idle capability and gradual gross sales which have resulted in years of great losses.”
Ford stated the choice will lead to a $4.1 billion cost on its monetary statements, about $2.5 billion in 2020 and $1.6 billion this yr.
“We all know these are very troublesome, however obligatory, actions to create a wholesome and sustainable enterprise,” stated Jim Farley, Ford’s president and chief government. “We’re shifting to a lean, asset-light enterprise mannequin by ceasing manufacturing in Brazil.”
The corporate is closing its vegetation in Camaçari and Taubaté immediately and can shut the Troller manufacturing unit in Horizonte within the final three months of the yr. Ford will proceed promoting vehicles and vans in Brazil; these autos will probably be imported from Argentina, Uruguay and elsewhere.
Ford’s choice will damage an already ailing Brazilian financial system, which the Worldwide Financial Fund expects to contract by 5.8 percent this year. The nation struggled with a surge in coronavirus cases final yr and has not too long ago seen one other large improve.
Like many information publications, The Jewish Week was pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic. Now it has a brand new proprietor.
The model of the 46-year-old outlet, which serves New York’s giant Jewish inhabitants, now belongs to 70 Faces Media, a nonprofit writer of a number of Jewish-interest websites and a wire service, the Jewish Telegraphic Company. The Jewish Week and 70 Faces Media announced the association on Monday.
In July, The Jewish Week laid off employees and suspended its print version within the wake of heavy promoting losses brought on, partly, by the pandemic. Its buy by one other information outlet is one other occasion of consolidation within the native information business.
The Jewish Week not too long ago raised cash from donors to cowl pay owed to freelancers, stated Kai Falkenberg, president of The Jewish Week’s board.
There are not any plans to revive the print version of Jewish Week, which had a circulation of 40,000 in 2019, stated Ami Eden, the 70 Faces chief government and government editor. The Jewish Week’s editor in chief, Andrew Silow-Carroll, a former prime editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Company, will proceed to run The Jewish Week.
“Jewish media is experiencing the identical absolute disaster that different native information has, and it’s been exacerbated through the pandemic,” stated Philissa Cramer, editor in chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Company. “To think about native Jewish communities with out strong protection is a disgrace, and I’d wish to be a part of an answer that may think about a sustainable pathway.”
Different 70 Faces Media websites embrace Kveller, for folks; Alma, for younger individuals; and The Nosher, which covers meals.
George Barrios and Michelle Wilson — the previous co-presidents of World Wrestling Leisure who abruptly left the corporate a yr in the past — are saying a brand new challenge: Isos Capital Administration, an funding agency targeted on media, leisure and sports activities. The DealBook publication was the first to report the brand new enterprise.
Mr. Barrios and Ms. Wilson are veterans of the sports activities and leisure enterprise, together with greater than a decade at spent WWE. “We really feel actually happy with every thing that was achieved throughout our tenure, so we’re excited concerning the subsequent chapter with Isos,” Ms. Wilson stated. After WWE, they each thought-about a number of alternatives — together with chief government roles — however determined as a substitute to proceed working collectively.
The brand new fund will have a look at corporations in any respect levels of improvement, with a deal with new applied sciences that preserve followers and subscribers engaged. “There are areas — whether or not it’s video gaming, e-sports, sports activities betting — that can drive fan engagement, and that digital transformation will actually turn into the car to make that occur,” Ms. Wilson stated. She and Mr. Barrios declined to touch upon different particulars concerning the fund.
As cash has poured into the business and deal-making has picked up, the fund’s founders consider their expertise and contacts set them aside; at WWE, they led the corporate’s aggressive international push and signed content material offers with USA Network and Fox Sports, amongst others. The corporate’s media division has helped counteract declining efficiency in its stay efficiency unit in recent times.
“Capital is essential, however it’s fungible,” Mr. Barrios stated. “What Michelle and I carry is experience, credibility and a worldwide community.”
Shares on Wall Avenue and in Europe fell on Monday, a day of consolidation after the markets started the yr with a rally to file highs.
The S&P 500 and the Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.7 p.c, and the FTSE 100 in Britain dropped 1.1 p.c.
Twitter tumbled greater than 6 p.c, recovering from a drop of almost twice that earlier within the day, after the social media firm on Friday completely banned President Trump, who had greater than 88 million followers, citing “the chance of additional incitement of violence.” Shares in Fb, which on Thursday stated it might block Mr. Trump on its platforms for a minimum of the remainder of his time period, fell Four p.c.
Boeing fell 1.5 p.c following Saturday’s crash in Indonesia of a 737-500 collection passenger carrying 62 individuals. The Sriwijaya Air flight fell into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.
Final week, U.S. inventory markets pushed greater after Democrats received two Senate seats in Georgia, clinching management of the higher home of Congress and growing buyers’ expectations of extra fiscal spending. The markets continued to rise even after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. Democrats, pointing to Mr. Trump’s inciting of the mob, have taken steps to remove Mr. Trump from the presidency.
Bitcoin fell to about $33,000 on Monday, down greater than 20 p.c from a file excessive of $41,962 reached on Friday. The cryptocurrency has surged considerably in current weeks; only a month in the past its worth was beneath $20,000.
Nothing has stopped the inventory market’s momentum over the past yr: not the pandemic, not file unemployment and never the Capitol riot.
However don’t take that as an indication that the market is envisioning a relaxed and affluent six months forward, writes The New York Occasions’s Jeff Sommer. As a substitute, the rally merely reflects the greed of bullish investors. Right here’s what’s fueling the excessive hopes:
Rates of interest stay terribly low, and the Federal Reserve and different central banks have stated they’re decided to maintain short-term charges low. When charges are low, shares and different dangerous belongings are comparatively engaging.
The pandemic is the principle trigger of worldwide financial troubles and it’ll finally finish. With vaccinations underway, Wall Avenue hopes that development in most areas and sectors will surge later this yr, together with rising company earnings.
With Democrats sweeping the 2 contested Senate seats in Georgia, the probabilities of a minimum of some additional financial stimulus have elevated. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will almost definitely be capable to ship extra help to individuals in want and to native governments, which is anticipated to extend financial development.
Actually sweeping legislative adjustments will probably be troublesome, if not not possible, given the Democratic Celebration’s razor-thin margin within the Senate and diminished majority within the Home. Some elevated spending is probably going, however this slim grip on energy implies that large tax will increase on rich buyers and wealthy companies might not occur quickly.
The election might have delivered one thing near a Goldilocks alignment for the inventory market. Mr. Biden’s cupboard picks thus far counsel that he’ll govern as a centrist, and the market traditionally has fared properly beneath Democratic presidents who wouldn’t have sweeping management of Congress. The chance that the Biden administration will usher in a extra environment friendly and inclusive authorities, with extra spending and solely average adjustments in any other case, is seen as a candy end result for shares.