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How Right-Wing Radio Stoked Anger Before the Capitol Siege

The First Amendment gives broad latitude to what hosts can say on the air. Recently, though, defamation lawsuits, or the threat of them, have emerged as a potential check. Smartmatic, an election technology firm, filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit last week against the Fox Corporation and three Fox anchors, accusing them of broadcasting false statements that damaged the company.Sidney Powell, the Trump lawyer named in the Smartmatic suit that accused Fox News of spreading false claims, voiced similar falsehoods on Mr. Limbaugh’s show after Election Day. (Mr. Limbaugh would later complain that Ms. Powell had not produced evidence of …

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Reddit Traders Made GameStop a $10 Billion Company

A big worry is that this has become a short-squeeze revolt. Short-sellers were down $91 billion for the month through yesterday, according to data from S3. (Such investors have lost $5 billion on GameStop alone.) While much of that was because of the overall rise in stocks, shares in other heavily shorted companies, like the headphone maker Koss, are up big. “I believe there is a systemic targeting of highly shorted stocks,” said Steve Sosnick of Interactive Brokers.Is there something else at play? Commentators are split: Matt Levine of Bloomberg Opinion reckons that this might all be a game to participants, …

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Rupert Murdoch, Accepting Award, Condemns ‘Awful Woke Orthodoxy’

The media mogul Rupert Murdoch denounced an “awful woke orthodoxy” and declared, “I’m far from done,” while accepting a lifetime achievement award this weekend.Mr. Murdoch, 89, made the remarks in a prerecorded video shown on Saturday during a virtual event for the United Kingdom nonprofit that honored him, the Australia Day Foundation. The video was shared on the website of The Herald Sun, a newspaper in Melbourne owned by Mr. Murdoch.The video is noteworthy because Mr. Murdoch, despite exerting enormous influence over the global media landscape as the executive chairman of News Corp, has been relatively quiet publicly …

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The Week in Business: Biden Gets Down to Business

All eyes are on President Biden right now. Here’s how his new policies will affect companies and households struggling to weather the pandemic economy — plus more of the week’s top business and tech news. Stay safe, everyone. — Charlotte CowlesCredit…Giacomo BagnaraWhat’s Up? (Jan. 17-23)Not a Moment to LosePresident Joseph R. Biden Jr. began his first days in office by signing a flurry of executive orders to bolster the flagging economy and help those worst hit. He directed his administration to speed up the delivery of stimulus checks to the millions of eligible Americans who still haven’ …

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‘A Total Failure’: The Proud Boys Now Mock Trump

After the presidential election last year, the Proud Boys, a far-right group, declared its undying loyalty to President Trump.In a Nov. 8 post in a private channel of the messaging app Telegram, the group urged its followers to attend protests against an election that it said had been fraudulently stolen from Mr. Trump. “Hail Emperor Trump,” the Proud Boys wrote.But by this week, the group’s attitude toward Mr. Trump had changed. “Trump will go down as a total failure,” the Proud Boys said in the same Telegram channel on Monday.As Mr. Trump departed the White House on …

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Blackstone’s Schwarzman Stays Loyal to Trump

To Mr. Schwarzman, the notion appeared absurd. “This has been a tough time,” he said, according to a participant who shared details from a transcript of the call. Both the media coverage and the polls had misled people, Mr. Schwarzman said, and as a result, “people generally are skeptical about what anyone’s telling them.” He argued that the vote counts, which were continuing days after the election, had created a perception problem, especially in places where Mr. Trump appeared to have an early win only for a Biden victory to be declared later. His comments didn’t sit well …

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A QAnon ‘Digital Soldier’ Marches On, Undeterred by Theory’s Unraveling

Despite these delusions, Ms. Gilbert — a self-described mystic who has written four books, with titles like “Swami Soup” — mostly struck me as a New Age eccentric who could use some time away from screens. She disdains the mainstream media, but she agreed to be profiled, and we kept in touch.Over a series of conversations, I learned that she had a longstanding suspicion of elites dating back to her Harvard days, when she felt out of place among people she considered snobby rich kids. As an adult, she joined the anti-establishment left, advocating animal rights and supporting the Standing Rock …

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Inside Twitter’s Decision to Cut Off Trump

SAN FRANCISCO — Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, was working remotely on a private island in French Polynesia frequented by celebrities escaping the paparazzi when a phone call interrupted him on Jan. 6.On the line was Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top lawyer and safety expert, with an update from the real world. She said she and other company executives had decided to lock President Trump’s account, temporarily, to prevent him from posting statements that might provoke more violence after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol that day.Mr. Dorsey was concerned about the move, said two people with …

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‘We Need to Stabilize’: Big Business Breaks With Republicans

But last week seemed to be a breaking point. Big business could evidently tolerate working with Mr. Trump despite his chauvinism, his flirtations with white nationalism and his claims of impunity, but the president’s apparent willingness to undermine democracy itself appeared to be a step too far.“This thing was a little different. I mean, we had sedition and insurrection in D.C.,” said Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase. “No C.E.O. I know condones that in any way, shape or form. We shouldn’t have someone, you know, gassing up a mob.”The fallout …

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As Trump Clashes With Big Tech, China’s Censored Internet Takes His Side

After Twitter and Facebook kicked President Trump off their platforms, and his supporters began comparing his social media muzzling to Chinese censorship, the president won support from an unexpected source: China.“Legally he’s still the president. This is a coup,” said one comment, which included an expletive, that was liked 21,000 times on Weibo, the Chinese social media platform.“A country as big as the United States can’t tolerate Trump’s mouth,” another popular comment said. “U.S. democracy has died.”The comments were solicited by Guancha.com, a nationalistic news site, which created the hashtag #BigUSappsunitedtosilenceTrump# on Weibo. …

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