White House calls the media an “opposition party”
Within days of Donald Trump being sworn in as president, his White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon continued the administration’s attack on the American press. The New York Times reported Bannon called the media “the opposition party” and added, “They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.” He also said they should be “humiliated” and that the press should “keep its mouth shut and listen for awhile.” This is uncharted territory for media organizations, as they decide how to cover Trump and the new administration. The president previously has said he was in “a running war” with the media and has called journalists “among the most dishonest people on earth.”
Verizon hints it may merge with Charter
Dow Jones Newswires reported Verizon Communications said it is considering making a bid for rival Charter Communications Inc. The merger would combine two giants hoping for growth in a consolidating media environment, Dow Jones reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It isn’t clear whether the deal will come to fruition, or even whether Charter executives, including CEO Tom Rutledge, would be interested in a merger. Charter currently has a market value of more than $80 billion, according to Dow Jones. Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam has reached out to Charter to express Verizon’s interest in a merger.
Ford swings to fourth-quarter loss
Ford Motor Co., America’s second-largest car company, swung to a fourth-quarter net loss of $800 million. Special costs tied to its pension plans and the cancellation of a plant in Mexico dragged down strong operating results in North America, reported The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 4 percent to $38.7 billion on lower global wholesales, including in North America. The Wall Street Journal reported adjusted earnings per share were 30 cents in the fourth quarter, a 1-cent miss from the paper’s expectations of 31 cents per share. Apparently, the results weren’t easy to decipher, MarketWatch also reported. Bloomberg also revealed Ford paid millions to “curry favor” with President Donald Trump by taking a $200 million charge to cover the cost of canceling a small-car factory in Mexico after Trump’s attacks on American companies that move manufacturing jobs overseas.
Taxing imports to pay for Trump’s wall
Bloomberg reported the Trump administration is considering a 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports to pay for a wall along the southern American border. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer revealed the plan on Thursday, just hours after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a meeting with President Donald Trump. The details of how such a tax could work or how it would affect U.S. consumers and companies weren’t discussed. Bloomberg reported Trump’s border wall plan has escalated into an showdown that “threatens one of the world’s biggest bilateral trading relationships.”