Two powerful quakes measuring 5.9 and 6.4 struck the coast of Ecuador ten minutes apart, USGS reported. They appear to be aftershocks of the deadly April disaster, which claimed hundreds of lives in the country.
Both quakes hit an area about 32 kilometers northwest of Rosa Zarate, a town of some 60,000 residents in the Esmeraldas province.
The tremors from the two quakes were felt across a wide area and prompted many people to flee into the streets, according to BNO news. Residents reported power outages in some parts of the province. No reports as to the number of casualties were immediately available.
Local authorities in Esmeraldas said they were suspending school activities until further notice. Classes were also suspended in Manabí province to “inspect possible damage".
The country's president Rafael Correa urged people to “remain calm”.
Ecuador sits on the Nazca seismic plate region and has experienced a few powerful earthquakes this year already.
As it happens, about the last surviving linkage between 1968 and 2016 is Roger Ailes. Way back when, nearly half-a-century ago, Ailes was the hotshot daytime TV producer who was recruited by the Nixon campaign to make their man more presentable on television. It was a tall order as Nixon was not handsome nor a natural, TV-wise. Yet at the same time, Ailes knew Nixon was smart and tough, like a prosecutor, and so he played up that prosecutorial smartness and toughness. And that’s a big reason why Nixon won — because Ailes knew that the Republicans had to live and breathe their law-and-order message every day on the television tube.
Ailes has been out of politics for more than a quarter-century now, but it’s fair to say that his basic sensibility is visible on the Fox screen. Critics say that Fox News leans right, but the truth is, it’s more centrist — it just looks right-wing in comparison to the other news outlets.
But Fox, as a lonely fair-and-balanced bastion, is still an obstacle to Democratic victory plans in 2016. And that’s the real story of the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit against Ailes, which I wrote about here at BNN on July 8. I said then, and I still think now, that Carlson’s case has no merit, but I now see more clearly that her case has depth — that is, lots of resources. Yes, it is a huge operation that they have mounted against Ailes. And who is “they”? I think it’s virtually the whole of the Democratic establishment, including the Obamas, the Clintons, and their billionaire financiers, such as George Soros. These are the people who are plotting to take down Ailes. And if Ailes goes, I’m afraid, so could America.
The hulking size of the anti-Ailes juggernaut became fully evident on July 10, when Politico, always a loyal consort for the Democrats, headlined a piece, “The Carlson Camp: Inside the team of lawyers and P.R. agents strategizing former Fox anchor’s battle against Roger Ailes.” The 2300-word piece, credited to no fewer than six Politico authors, has obviously been in the works for some time. But then, just as obviously, so has the entirety of the Carlson team; they’ve been prepped, big-time. This was a set-up ambush, pure and simple.
And then, later that same day, in an obvious attempt to rush to judgment, Politico followed up with another long and deeply sourced story under the ominous headline, “After Ailes: It’s almost impossible to imagine Fox News without its creator and guardian, Roger Ailes. Almost.” Politico, of course, has no direct power over Fox, but the publication has made a specialty out of whipping up frenzies inside the media hothouses of DC and NYC.
As if it were needed, further proof that the anti-Ailes forces are deeply synchronized is the reappearance of Gabriel Sherman. You remember him: He’s the longtime Ailes-hater at New York magazine, who attempted to ruin Ailes with his sludgy biography, published to flat sales two years ago — it didn’t even make paperback.
Yet tellingly, Sherman had a lot of PR firepower behind that book, including a boiler room of partisan Democratic operatives — and by the way, who paid for them? And now Sherman is back dusting off — or is it, making up? — charges of Ailes sex-harassment from 30, 40, even 50 years ago. If one goes through the torture of reading through these archaic accusations, mostly from unnamed individuals, one gets the distinct feeling that it’s material that the sober lawyers at Sherman’s publisher, Random House, wouldn’t let him put it in his 2014 book. But now that Sherman is getting a second bite at the Ailes apple, he is throwing everything out there, desperately trying to fuel the media flames, and perhaps redeeming himself. Indeed, it’s a safe bet that in the near future, Sherman will “find” more such bombs to lob.
Sherman has made many of his silly charges before and gotten nowhere, but this time, there’s a difference. And that difference is the new leadership of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, which might be more receptive to anti-Ailes venom.
As I noted two days ago, the grand patriarch of Fox, Rupert Murdoch, is a great friend and fan of Ailes. But Rupert is 84, and he has substantially turned the reins of the company over to his two sons, Lachlan and James. And nobody really knows what they think of Ailes. Or maybe we do, since the Murdoch boys immediately declared, in the wake of the Carlson lawsuit, that they would instigate their own investigation of Ailes. And that, of course, could be Trouble with a capital “T.” After all, hired guns have a way of shooting those whom they’re hired to shoot.
Indeed, the wormy Sherman has written that the backdrop is corporate skullduggery, aimed directly at Ailes:
Executives I spoke with over the past 24 hours said the hiring of an outside lawyer is also an indication that Murdoch’s sons may be capitalizing on the Carlson scandal to achieve a long-held goal: forcing Ailes out. “It’s a coup,” one person close to the company told me. If the investigation into Ailes’s management confirms Carlson’s account, or turns up additional episodes of harassment with other Fox women, it stands to reason the Murdoch children would have the leverage they need to push Ailes aside and install a less-right-wing chief.
So there you have it: The real goal is to “install a less-right-wing chief.”
Of course, Sherman has been incorrect a lot more than he’s been correct, but David Folkenflik, media-beat reporter for NPR, offered some cautious corroboration to CNN on Sunday, “The interests of Roger Ailes… may diverge from the interests of the Murdoch family.”
I’ll close with a quote from a Fox News insider, who lays out the stakes:
If you’re looking for evidence of a vast left wing conspiracy, open up your screen or turn on your TV. Hillary and her media shock troops have been buffeted by two decades of FOX News coverage that has uncovered Bill and Hillary’s greatest scandals and has so far derailed Bill and Hillary’s greatest ambitions—to win the White House for her. Now they need to take down one of the few media outlets that will actually do its job to ensure their ambitions are realized. From Whitewater to Lewinsky to impeachment to Benghazi to the e-mail scandals, FOX News has been the outlet that has reported truth to power. So now Hillary & Company, joined by the vast left-wing conspiracy, run through the Clinton Foundation and inspired and financed by Media Matters—and with failed Ailes biographer Sherman riding shotgun—are ready to settle the score and take out one of the last truth Sheriffs still standing: Roger Ailes and the network he created, FOX News.
All I can say to that is, “Amen.” If Ailes goes, Hillary is a lot more likely to win. And so is #BlackLivesMatter, the New Black Panthers, and all the rest of the crazies.
And that terrifying prospect is enough to keep me on the firing line. Maybe you, too, feel the same way.
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