Fox News 2024-04-02 10:05:57


RFK Jr. turns Democratic talking point about Trump, democracy on its head

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Monday that he believes President Biden presents a greater threat to democracy than former President Trump.

Kennedy Jr. said during an appearance on CNN’s “OutFront” that Biden is a “much worse” threat to democracy than Trump because the current president has been “weaponizing” federal agencies to censor his political opponents.

“I can make the argument that President Biden is much worse,” Kennedy Jr. said. “And the reason for that is President Biden is the first candidate in history, the first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech or censor his opponent.”

“The greatest threat to democracy is not somebody who questions election returns but a President of the United States who will use the power of his office to force the social media companies Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, to open a portal and give access to that portal to the FBI, CIA, the IRS, the NIH, to censor his political critics,” he added.

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Kennedy Jr. initially challenged Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination before launching a White House bid as an independent in October to take on Biden and Trump in the 2024 election.

The comments come after Biden has made repeated claims that Trump is a threat to democracy over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, for which the former president has been charged at the federal level. Trump, who has falsely alleged over the past three and a half years that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him due to voter fraud, said in December that Biden is the “real threat.”

CNN host Erin Burnett pressed Kennedy Jr. on how Trump’s alleged role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election results was not a threat to democracy. Kennedy Jr. admitted that the allegations against Trump do represent a threat to democracy, but that Biden’s efforts to stifle speech are still worse.

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“I think that is a threat to democracy if we’re trying to overthrow the election, clearly a threat,” he said. “But the question was ‘Who was a worse threat to democracy?’ And what I would say is I, you know, I’m not going to answer that question and argue that President Biden is because the First Amendment, Erin, is the most important.”

When asked to clarify if he could make an argument that Biden is worse for U.S. democracy than Trump, Kennedy Jr. responded, “Absolutely.”

Founder of left-wing ‘propaganda’ network keeps quietly visiting the White House

FIRST ON FOX: A longtime Democratic political operative behind a network of left-leaning media organizations masquerading as “independent” local news outlets has maintained access to the upper echelons of President Biden’s White House.

Tara McGowan, the founder and publisher of Courier Newsroom, has visited the Biden White House nearly 20 times, a Fox News Digital review found.

McGowan, CEO and founder of Courier Newsroom’s parent, Good Information Inc., participated in several one-on-one meetings with top White House aides. For example, McGowan met with Jordan Finkelstein, who was serving as a chief of staff to one of President Biden’s senior advisers, at least six times between October 2022 and October 2023.

Another top aide who was listed on the visitor logs for McGowan’s White House visits was Patrick Stevenson. Stevenson’s LinkedIn page reveals he is the “Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Digital Strategy.” 

Stevenson’s role in helping lead the White House’s digital strategy could raise questions about coordination between McGowan’s network of media outlets and the White House due to Courier Newsroom’s business model revolving around online engagement and messaging on social media.

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Two other top White House aides who McGowan met with were Madeline Strasser, who previously served as an adviser to then-White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and Nina Srivastava, who also served as an adviser to Klain. The pair of Klain advisers met with McGowan several times, according to the visitor logs between April 2022 and August 2022.

McGowan’s Instagram account also shows a picture of her alongside President Biden and first lady Jill Biden in front of a Christmas tree, but Fox News Digital could not confirm the date or year of the picture.

McGowan, who worked on former President Obama’s re-election campaign and later for Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC that backed Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential candidacy, launched Good Information Inc., in 2021 to counter “fake news” and disinformation.

As part of its operations, Good Information acquired Courier Newsroom, which McGowan also founded. 

McGowan’s access to Biden’s White House appeared to pay off for her operation when Courier Newsroom landed an exclusive interview with the president late last year.

“The White House invited COURIER for an exclusive interview with the President backstage after his rally at the Belvidere Stellantis auto plant in Illinois this fall,” Courier wrote in its year-end report. “One of our national social correspondents got to talk with the President about jobs and workers, sharing exclusive video footage with our audiences across TikTok, Instagram, X, and other channels.”

The Courier News interview with Biden appears to have occurred on Nov. 9 and was posted on TikTok on Nov. 13. White House visitor logs show that McGowan’s second of two White House visits with Stevenson, the top digital White House adviser, occurred one day after the interview was posted on TikTok. 

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“The Biden Administration doesn’t get enough credit for how deeply and strategically they have begun to embrace new models of media, journalism, and social influencers to get their message across to audiences that are no longer reached by the traditional press corps,” the report states.

Courier Newsroom also undertook a seven-figure ad campaign to boost Democratic politicians during the 2020 elections, and some of its news pieces mirrored the politicians’ own press releases, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported.

At the time, Courier Newsroom had digital outlets and staffed them with reporters in battleground states such as Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Last summer, Courier was beefing up its infrastructure ahead of the 2024 elections by launching additional newsrooms in Nevada, Texas and New Hampshire, according to an Axios report.

The move brought the total number of newsrooms to 11 nationwide, with each newsroom having its own website for the state where it is located.

In 2021, Gabby Deutch, who the Washington Post described as “the Washington correspondent for NewsGuard, a New York-based nonpartisan organization that reviews news sites to combat misinformation,” penned an op-ed criticizing Courier Newsroom as a “political operation” and argued it is “exploiting the widespread loss of local journalism to create and disseminate something we really don’t need: hyperlocal partisan propaganda.”

The organization, meanwhile, has received millions of dollars in funding from liberal mega-donors. The George Soros-bankrolled Open Society Foundations is one such institution that has provided vast amounts of cash to its operations.

According to a search of its grant database, the Fund for Policy Reform, one of the nonprofits in the Soros network, provided Courier Newsroom with three grants totaling $5 million in 2021 and 2022 to “support its non-partisan journalism, which aims to further the common good and general welfare of U.S. communities by providing access to information.”

Open Society Foundations stood by their past financial support of Courier Newsroom, calling it “values-driven journalism.”

“Open Society is proud to be among several funders who support Courier Newsroom, which is responding to the disappearance of so many trusted local news organizations across the United States to provide quality, local, values-driven journalism and to meet readers where they are — online,” an Open Society Foundations spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

One of the grants was earmarked for supporting “journalism on democracy and voting rights issues,” according to the database. 

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LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, another left-wing mega-donor, has also provided Courier Newsroom with significant funding, according to reports.

We’re “proud to have restored White House press briefings and to engage with a wide range of media,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital, ignoring an inquiry about the nature of the meetings.

McGowan’s Good Information Inc. did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on her access to Biden’s administration and the nature of her White House visits. 

Multiple children shot in early morning shooting at Finnish primary school

A 12-year-old suspect was arrested in Finland on Tuesday morning after a shooting at a primary school left three 12-year-olds wounded.

Police responded to the shooting at Viertola Primary School in the city of Vantaa shortly after 7 a.m. local time, according to Sky News.

Residents are urged to avoid the area, the outlet reported.

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The victims were transported to a hospital for medical treatment.

“The immediate danger is over,” the school’s principal Sari Laasila told Reuters.

Emergency services, including armed police officers, were observed at the scene, according to Finnish broadcaster MTV Uutiset.

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“The day started in a horrifying way,” Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said on X. “There has been a shooting incident at the Viertola school in Vantaa. I can only imagine the pain and worry that many families are experiencing at the moment. The suspected perpetrator has been caught.”

Finland tightened its gun legislation in 2010, requiring an aptitude test for all firearms license applicants and raising the age limit for applicants from 18 to 20.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Cookie company doubles down on controversial social posts on Easter

Last Crumb, an LA-based cookie company, sparked controversy online this weekend with a series of social media posts launched on Easter Sunday.

Over the weekend, the cookie company posted holiday-themed media to their own social accounts that users regarded as “disrespectful” and too parallel to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In a photograph posted to 168,000 followers on Last Crumb’s Instagram account, users are presented with a black and white scene featuring a cookie in color as the focal point.

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The cookie, which is oversize, much like the Last Crumb’s baked goods, is resting midway across what appears to be an empty rock-cut tomb.

The Instagram caption reads, “Cookies worth resurrecting for… Happy Easter.”

The comment section of the social media post was split, with some users indicating they planned to unfollow the account, while others saw it as light-hearted.

In response, one user wrote, “Yall would never post something like this for any other religions holiday…” to which Last Crumb responded, “Watch us.”

A second user remarked, “When a company loses all respect over one disrespectful post. Unfollowed.”

A follow-up comment reads, “But what did you expect from this brand though? Lots of their posts are disrespectful anyway. It’s their branding. This isn’t a shock. It’s expected.”

Last Crumb returned to the comment section again to write back, “We’re consistent, if nothing else.”

However, another user wrote to the company stating, “Love this.”

The company doubled down on the resurrection themed social posts and included one on their TikTok account. A similar sentiment in video form was released to over 222,000 followers.

GIRL SCOUTS TO DISCONTINUE THIS POPULAR COOKIE

In the video, users can see what appears to be a chocolate chip cookie rolling to unearth the inside of a rock-cut tomb. As the cookie moves, the scene reads, “Cookies worth resurrecting for.”

The caption posted reflects immediately on the expected disapproval from users stating, “Yes, they’re that good. Yes, this is problematic. Happy Easter!”

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The gourmet treat company sells collections of cookies starting at a whopping $90 for a half dozen and $140 for a dozen. Last Crumb’s selection of dessert is labeled the “most expensive cookies in the world,” according to their site.

For April Fools’ Day, the company responded to the virtual backlash about the cost of their shareable treats with a $12,000 collection. The black box of cookies is a mystery to customers, per the site.

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However, the provided coupon code “APRILFOOLS” cuts the cost of the box drastically, making the total price even cheaper than a typical batch.

FOX Business reached out to Last Crumb for comment but did not hear back.

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David Bowie’s hairdresser recalls warning singer he was hanging with 16-year-old fan

Suzi Ronson was more than just David Bowie’s hairdresser – she was also his “tour madam.”

While on the road, the stylist took on the “less glamorous” role of picking up fans who wanted to meet the band, as well as keeping a close eye on those who followed the entourage in cars. And sometimes looking out for “the prettiest girls” to join their circle wasn’t always so simple.

Ronson has written a new memoir titled “Me and Mr. Jones: My Life with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars.” In it, she described what it was really like hitting the road with the singer during one of the most creative periods of his decades-long career. Ronson is known for giving the late star his iconic Ziggy Stardust do.

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“It’s the story of a young girl who was looking for adventure and found it and ran away with a rock ‘n’ roll circus,” Ronson told Fox News Digital.

According to Ronson’s book, Bowie and his band were at a bar in Birmingham after performing when she spotted a giggling blonde who caught his attention. After Bowie flashes a smile of approval, he “welcomes her into his circle and slides his arm around her shoulder.” They headed off to his hotel room and everything seemed fine – until a woman in her 40s with “a red face and a determined attitude” marches into the bar, frantically looking for her daughter.

“I didn’t know she was 16, and I was the one that brought her back to the hotel,” Ronson explained. “She didn’t look 16. She looked 20. She was a gorgeous-looking girl with long messy hair, full makeup. She was dying to meet David.”

“When her mother came into the hotel looking for her daughter, she said, ‘She’s only 16,’” Ronson recalled.

A stunned Ronson immediately ran up to Bowie’s room and began banging on his door. He replied, “F–k off, Suzi.” Meanwhile, the girl’s mother continued to ask around the bar, looking for her daughter.

“I said, ‘That girl’s mother’s here, she’s 16. David, she’s got to go,’” Ronson told Fox News Digital. “Then the girl goes, ‘Oh, trust her to come and spoil all my fun.'”

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“She didn’t want to leave,” Ronson said. “But David asked her to leave, and she did. And her mother was so happy to see her alive in one piece. [The girl] was crying all the way, heading downstairs, wailing, ‘Oh I love him, I love him.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re too young.’ Without her makeup, of course, yeah, she looked a lot younger.”

“But it was me – it wasn’t David,” Ronson said. “I didn’t know she was that age. I had no idea. He definitely didn’t. And being by herself? We didn’t know.”

“… But back then, there were a lot of young girls that came to those concerts,” said Ronson.

The stylist admitted she was stunned to see girls as young as 14 and 15 in the audience.

“I was shocked by that,” she said.

In the book, Ronson described how the girl sobbed to her mother, believing she wouldn’t see Bowie again. Meanwhile, the angered matriarch swiftly took her daughter home.

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WATCH: DAVID BOWIE’S STYLIST RECALLS GIVING SINGER ICONIC HAIRCUT

“As I escort them out of the hotel, the mother now directs her anger towards her daughter, who once again bursts into floods of tears,” Ronson wrote. “I wearily return to the bar for a much-needed drink. It’s hard to tell with girls, and even though I could see she was really young after she cried her makeup off, at the gig she looked amazing and could easily have passed for 20. I might have to start asking for proof of age before they get on the bus, I think to myself.”

Ronson was no stranger to groupies and their determination to get backstage.

“When you’ve done a show, and you go back to your hotel room, you want to have a drink, you want to talk to people,” Ronson explained to Fox News Digital. “They didn’t always sleep with the girls that came back to the hotel. Sometimes they’d have a drink and just talk to them. But I’m sure there were times, as they are now, that they ended up in their rooms. … But I don’t know everything. I just knew the things I wrote about.”

While Ronson described Bowie as “charming and sweet,” she didn’t fall head over heels for him.

“He made me a bit nervous, to be honest,” said Ronson. “And also, he had this female/male side to him. I liked blokes that looked like blokes. I wasn’t that attracted. I thought he was exciting … but I wanted a job. I didn’t want to fall in love with him. Falling in love with him would’ve been the worst thing that ever happened to me. I wanted to work on the road. I wanted to have my own room, [earn] my own wages. I didn’t want to be there because I was sleeping with somebody. That wasn’t the role I saw for myself. I wanted to be on the bus, not waving at it. I wanted to go on the road and have an adventure.”

“My friends said I was crazy,” Ronson admitted. “… Girls weren’t on the road at that point. There were no girl roadies. But I had a vision. And after I cut his hair, I thought to myself, ‘He’s got to keep me around.’ Where’s he going to go for a touch-up, Birmingham? I don’t think that’s going to work. Where’s he going to go? And I was right. He couldn’t really do without me after that haircut.”

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Ronson first met Bowie right after Christmas 1971. At the time, she was his mother’s hairdresser and had heard things about her “wonderful musician” son who had recorded “Space Oddity.”

“He had that hit … but it had been a couple of years ago,” said Ronson. “So, I thought he might have been a one-hit wonder. I wasn’t sure he was going to do anything else. … It wasn’t until I met him and I met [his wife] Angie and I met the band and those kinds of people that I realized that he wasn’t over. He was just beginning.”

Ronson served as Bowie’s stylist in 1972 after he asked her to give him “a short, spiky” haircut that was really “a girl’s hairstyle.” She won him over, and she soon toured with the band. During her time on the road, she witnessed Bowie’s open marriage.

Bowie and Angela were married from 1970 to 1980. They shared a son, Duncan Jones. Ronson said their union was “a little odd,” even for the time.

“David said he was bisexual in the papers,” said Ronson. “Well … he was married with a kid. … He never acted like a gay man. … I hadn’t met a gay man before, but David never used to act like that. He’d horse around with his friends at the house. There was a lot of innuendo, but David never came across as a gay man to me. He didn’t. But he must have had dalliances in the past to be able to say that. And he certainly did once or twice. I mean, I do mention that in the book, but most of the time, he was with girls. But remember, this is before AIDS. … We came out of the ‘60s. Everybody’s sleeping with everybody. So, it wasn’t that shocking.”

“And today, I mean, good Lord, it’s not shocking at all, is it?” she added.

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Bowie remarried in 1992 to model Iman. They welcomed a daughter in 2000. The union lasted until he died in 2016 at age 69 from cancer. 

CDC sounds alarm on outbreak of life-threatening invasive bacterial infection

An invasive bacterial infection is on the rise in the U.S., according to an alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cases of meningococcal disease, mainly caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, reached 422 last year, the highest annual number of cases reported since 2014, the agency stated in the alert.

So far this year, 143 cases have been reported to the CDC (as of March 25), which is 62 more than the number reported at the same time last year.

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The invasive strain that is causing most of the cases — serogroup Y ST-1466 — primarily affects adults between ages 30 and 60 (65% of cases), the CDC said in its report. Also affected are Black or African American people (63%) and people with HIV (15%), the CDC said.

This strain also appears to have a higher fatality rate than strains from previous years.

Of 94 patients, 17 of them died from the infection, which is a fatality rate of 18%. 

Between 2017 and 2021, the fatality rate was 11%.

The typical fatality rate ranges from 10% to 15%, even with antibiotic treatment, per the CDC.

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One in five survivors can experience long-term disabilities such as deafness, brain damage, limb loss or other nervous system problems.

“I think this is a concern, especially because of the steep rise in cases all of a sudden and because this particular strain has had a higher case fatality than in previous increases of this disease,” Dr. Barbara Bawer, a primary care physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Fox News Digital.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease

Described by the CDC as a “rare but severe illness,” meningococcal disease most commonly causes symptoms of meningitis, including fever, stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or altered mental status.

It can also cause meningococcal bloodstream infection, which is marked by fever and chills, vomiting, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, severe aches and pains, diarrhea, rapid breathing or a dark purple rash, the CDC notes. 

Transmission and treatment

Meningitis infections can spread though close contact with someone who has meningococcal disease, Bawer noted — “generally, through things like coughing or kissing, but it can also spread by being in the same household or room for extended periods of time with an individual who is infected.”

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Those who have symptoms of the disease should see their primary care physician immediately, according to the doctor.

As symptoms tend to progress quickly and can be life-threatening, it is essential that the patient receives antibiotics immediately.

“It can become fatal or dangerous within hours for any individual.”

“It can become fatal or dangerous very quickly — within hours — for any individual, especially if antibiotics are not initiated in a timely manner,” Bawer warned. “Even with antibiotics, meningitis can be fatal.”

She added, “This is often due to misdiagnosis, because meningitis can mimic many other illnesses.”

Infection prevention

Most cases of meningococcal disease worldwide are caused by six variations of the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria — A, B, C, W, X and Y.

In the U.S., the most common variations are B, C, W and Y.

There are vaccines available to protect against types A, C, W and Y (the MenACWY vaccine) and type B (MenB vaccine), according to the CDC.

“MenACWY vaccines are routinely recommended for adolescents and for people with other risk factors or underlying medical conditions, including HIV,” the CDC stated in the alert.

To reduce risk, Bawer recommends that people get vaccinated with the current meningitis vaccine as recommended by the CDC and avoid being in very closed-in spaces with others as much as possible. 

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“If you know of someone who has meningitis in your household or you’ve come in contact with their oral secretions (i.e., you kissed them), then you should get preventative antibiotics,” the doctor told Fox News Digital. 

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This is even more important for those who are immune-compromised or who are on medications that decrease the immune system, Bawer added.

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How Iran may react to the alleged Israeli strike that killed a top commander

Iran is not likely to respond directly against the Jewish state but rather use its proxies to do the job, after a top commander of its Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

“Given the target and location of the strike – at a building adjacent to the consulate — I expect the Iranians to respond,” Bill Roggio, managing editor of Long War Journal, told Fox News Digital.

“It is difficult to say how the Iranians respond,” Roggio said. “The Iranians may try to target Israelis overseas, and may also leverage its militias – Hezbollah, the Houthis, and the Iraqi and Syria militias, to strike at targets within Israel.”

Roggio’s comments come after Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior IRGC commander, was reportedly killed Monday in an air strike on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital, according to a report from Reuters.

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Iran’s consulate was flattened in the strike, according to the report, which noted that Syrian and Iranian media had blamed the carnage on an Israeli air strike.

Israel declined to comment on the apparent strike, Reuters reported, with an Israeli military spokesperson telling the outlet that it does “not comment on reports in foreign media.” The strike, according to Iranian state television, also killed several Iranian diplomats.

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Israel has stepped up strikes in Syria and on Iranian-backed targets since the Hamas’ attack on Israel in October, Reuters noted, hitting both Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror groups as well as IRGC targets.

Yigal Carmon, a former adviser to two Israeli prime ministers on countering terrorism and founder and president of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), told Fox News Digital that, “Khamenei’s policies over the years reflect cowardice. The Iranian pattern of reaction is such that he escalates when he feels that the other side is afraid of him, and backs down when the other side shows deterrence.”

He continued, “In the attack on an official Iranian government target in Damascus, Israel escalated against Iran, telling Iran that Israel will not continue with the proxy game so commonly played by Iran. The Israeli escalation was to serve as a warning: we are ready for battle with you, Iran, directly, at this time, even though we are at war in both Gaza and Lebanon.”

Carmon’s said his assessment is that, “Khamenei will not react to the Israeli escalation by escalating against an Israeli target BY IRAN ITSELF. Rather, he will continue with the proxy game, targeting Israel by the Houthis, Hezbollah and possibly by terrorists in the West. He does not need and is not ready for an all-out war with Israel at this time.”

Another expert on the region, Casey Babb, a Fellow with the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, and a Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Ottawa, told Fox News Digital that the latest strike is an example of the Israeli military’s significant reach.

“It signals to Israel’s enemies — including Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Iran, and other hostile actors — that the reach of Israel is immeasurable. No one is safe,” Babb said. 

Babb said that the strike will deal Iran a “serious organizational blow” and disrupt the IRGC’s ability to “mobilize, plan, and carry out effective attacks” while also destabilizing “the psyche of Iranian leadership and their proxies.”

“It makes them feel vulnerable, it makes them feel inferior, and crucially, it makes them question themselves,” Babb said. “At the end of the day – all of these barbarians know their death warrants have been issued. This latest killing is just a reminder of that.”

Responding to the attack during a news conference, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said the U.S. did not have confirmation of the target or the responsible party, but noted the department’s concern that the reported strike could be seen as “escalatory” and potential “cause an increase in conflict in the region.”

Meanwhile, Fox News’ Trey Yingst reported Monday that Iran has vowed a “swift, direct, and harsh” response to the apparent Israeli attack.

However, Babb argued that Iran is unlikely to mount any sort of “significant” response.

“Hezbollah, Iran, and other potential entities that could respond don’t want a full scale war with Israel,” Babb said. “They know they’d be in ruins relatively fast – so they’ll likely respond in some calibrated way – but not enough to trigger a full on military confrontation.”

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Joe Truzman a senior research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and an expert on Iran and its proxies, told Fox News Digital that while Iran has generally steered clear of a direct conflict with Israel and used its proxies to carry out attacks, “The attack in Damascus specifically targeted high-ranking IRGC officers, as well as the Iranian consulate. As a result, Iran is likely to respond more forcefully to this incident compared to past attacks on its officers in Syria, he said. 

“This possible shift in tactics suggests that the conflict between Iran and Israel may be entering a new and potentially more dangerous phase,” he warned.

Caitlin Clark puts on dazzling display to lead Hawkeyes to Final Four

The Iowa Hawkeyes got their revenge against the LSU Tigers, as Caitlin Clark’s 41 points led the way to a 94-87 Elite Eight victory to reach the Final Four. 

Iowa lost the national championship to Angel Reese & Co. last season, but the No. 1-seeded Hawkeyes weren’t having it this time. And of course, it was Clark who had the most to say about it. 

Clark was 13-for-29 from the field, draining 9-of-20 shots from beyond the arc. LSU guard Hailey Van Lith had some serious contests on those shots, especially the deep three-pointers Clark is known to dazzle with, but all she could do was shrug when she watched them go in. 

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But Clark wasn’t just launching shots in this game. She got teammates involved with 12 assists on her way to breaking the NCAA Tournament career record, which was at 137. 

The game’s turning point came in the third quarter after Flau’Jae Johnson’s spinning layup at the end of the first half made it 45 apiece. Johnson led the Tigers with 23 points in the game on 10-of-18 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, three blocks, and one steal.

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Iowa went on an 8-0 run to start the third quarter, as LSU struggled to knock down their shots. By the end of it, Clark had drained four of her nine threes in the quarter, and Iowa owned a solid 11-point lead, 69-58, entering the fourth.

On the other hand, the Tigers shot 5-of-26 in the third quarter as a team. 

LSU would end up outscoring Iowa in the fourth, 29-25, but it wasn’t enough despite their efforts. 

Reese got off to a very hot start for LSU, helping them win the first quarter, 31-26. She went 6-for-8 from the field, but she ended up hurting her ankle on a block attempt that saw her hopping over to the bench in the second quarter.

After eventually coming back in the game, Reese went ice cold as Iowa sent multiple defenders her way. She went 1-for-13 from the field to finish 7-for-21 with 17 points along with a game-high 20 rebounds.

LSU, as a team, was strong on the glass, out-rebounding Iowa 55-37. But they only shot 38.6% from the field, as Van Lith went 2-of-10, including 1-of-6 from three, for nine points, while freshman Mikaylah Williams was 6-of-16 for 18 points. 

Meanwhile, Iowa’s Kate Martin shooting 50% from the floor (8-of-16) to score 21 points. She added six rebounds and two steals as well. 

Sydney Affolter, the Chicago native, also hit 50% of her shots (5-of-10) for 16 points, including two three-pointers. 

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Iowa will now await the winner of No. 1 USC and No. 3 UConn to see who their opponent will be in the Final Four. 

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HUGH HEWITT: You cannot rely on American legacy media to inform you on the war in Gaza

Do you know what you are talking about when you opine on Israel’s war of survival? 
 
Give me five minutes with a person’s checkbook,” the late Billy Graham remarked, “and I will tell you where their heart is.” 
 
That famous dictum is no longer true because…who uses checkbooks? But a modern corollary is now applicable: “Show me the podcasts you follow in your feed and actually listen to, and I’ll tell you whether you are genuinely informed about ____.” 

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Podcasts have become an alternative to news programs—network, cable or on the radio—and to newspapers. Sports pods came first as fans of specific franchises are “super consumers” of news and analysis of the clubs they follow. My feed is full of Cleveland sports for example: “Terry’s Talkin’” with Terry Pluto and David Campbell of Cleveland.com, along with “Orange and Brown Talk” and “Buckeye Talk” from the same platform with different hosts who cover the Cleveland Browns and The Ohio State University Buckeyes football have been in my podcast feed the longest.  

Also on the feed is the relatively new “Kings of the North” pod, hosted by Doug Lesmaires and Bill Landis, which has forged a concept that “northern” college football deserved its own pod—as opposed to, say, dreaded SEC pods that don’t understand that the best college football is played north of Tennessee. It’s quite entertaining, as well as my other regular sports pods. That’s what the best sports pods are: entertaining and informative.  
 
Of political and general news pods, there are now thousands competing with sports pods. I enjoy “Getting Hammered” with Mary Katharine Ham and Vic Matus because it is funny and topical, and I feel like I am listening in to conversations my adult children might be having. It does cover some news, but mostly it provides a dive into the informed perspectives on the news of a different age cohort.  
 
But if the subject you are interested in is Israel’s war in Gaza, and quite likely the imminent, much expanded battle between the IDF and Hezbollah on the northern border of the Jewish state, you have to be much more selective.  
 
Thus, I have become a daily listener to the Times of Israel’s The Daily Briefing (especially when the platform’s senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur is a guest) and it’s “What Matters Now” pod which also often features Rettig Gur, who has become something of a must-listen to interpreter of the war for non-Israelis.  

I discovered Rettig Gur on the “Call Me Back” podcast hosted by Dan Senor, a pod on which Senor interviews key observers of the war in Gaza and the likelihood of another front that exploded in intensity in the north. Senor is an American who seems to know pretty much every journalist and many officials in Israel. 
 
Senor’s March 21 interview of Israeli War Cabinet member Ron Dermer was perhaps the first “strategic” pod I have listened to. Dermer quite obviously had many messages to deliver from the War Cabinet to the American public that supports Israel’s war. He picked Senor’s pod because he wanted to speak to that audience specifically. It was a wise choice. Senor is a seasoned interviewer but, in this episode, like almost every other episode, Senor is eliciting information, not dealing out his opinions.  
 
Finally, I’m not Jewish, but I am also not blind to the surge in antisemitism in the United States to truly staggering levels, so I make a habit of listening to every “Commentary” pod that appears as well as relevant ones from The Free Press, the platform pioneered by Bari Weiss which has exploded in popularity as an alternative to legacy media.  
 
The latter is usually a new take with a new voice on most episodes, but the Commentary pod has a recurring format: Editor-in-chief of Commentary Magazine John Podhoretz leads a daily conversation with his Executive Editor Abe Greenwald and two or three of his key contributors—Matt Continetti, Seth Mandel and Christine Rosen—through every aspect of Israel’s war and its impact on Jewish Americans of the antisemitic Krakatoa that went off in the states after 10/7, as well as a good mix of domestic American politics as campaign 2024 heads into its third turn.  

What “JPod,” as Podhoretz is known online and off, does is simply run through the current developments with his gang of very, very smart voices—say, a focus on the abstention of the U.S. on last week’s Security Council Resolution decoupling a ceasefire from release of the hostages or on the views of American Jewry on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Commentary pod also welcomes guests like Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Eli Lake or Eliana Johnson. They also welcome—wait for it—the remarkable Rettig Gur now and again.  
 
Finally, I make a point to listen to Donniel Hartman, 66, and Yossi Klein Halevi, 71, on their “For Heaven’s Sake” pod, whenever it appears, because these are two very smart old Israeli friends who are public intellectuals of great reputation in Israel who seem to me to be left and center-left (and both anti-Netanyahu) and thus certain to introduce me to some Israeli thinking that isn’t necessarily going to make it into news reports I ordinarily read. They also represent voices from my age cohort with references throughout to their 50-plus years of Israeli history and politics.  

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Bottom line, I’d have half as many facts and views of the war if I only listened to two of these four podcasts focused mostly on Israel’s war of survival. If I relied only on American legacy media, I would have a terribly distorted view of the war and would be blind and dumb to vast amounts of crucial data about the war.  
 
Thus, on Friday’s night “Special Report”—Gillian Turner sitting in for Bret Baier—the “Winners and Losers of the Week” segment came up, and I rattled off these pods as the “winners of the week” because of their collective coverage of this terrible but necessary war. I recommend all four of them to you because so much of the coverage of the war in Gaza and what seems likely to be a war in Lebanon requires a lot of information and assessment that most reporters and pundits simply don’t have the time to acquire.  

Give me five minutes with your podcast feed, and I’ll know not just your passions, but probably your point of view on politics generally and whether or not you are in a position to even articulate an informed opinion on the war that Israel is waging. Give them all a try. Start, perhaps with Senor’s conversation with Dermer from last week and his latest interview or Rettig Gur which posted early Monday morning in the U.S. 

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I would be happy to listen to a pod that was news from the Palestinian point of view, but I am afraid there just isn’t anything that can be relied on given Hamas’ stranglehold on Gaza’s Arab population. If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments. I’ll give any serious pod a chance. But if you are an American journalist or elected official who is commenting on the war without reference to the Israeli point of view—not just the government’s positions and statements but the Israeli public’s almost completely United attitude towards the war—perhaps say nothing until you are least informed of the facts in Gaza and on the northern border. To get those facts, you are going to have to go in harms way and out of your American news comfort zones.  
 
Try it. You may not change your mind, but at least you will be less in danger of holding a risible opinion untethered to the reality of the situation in Israel. 

Hugh Hewitt is one of the country’s leading journalists of the center-right. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996, where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990, and it is today syndicated to hundreds of stations and outlets across the country every Monday through Friday morning. Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and this column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his 40 years in broadcast, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio show today.

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