Here are a few highlights from Popular Information's reporting over the last month:
1. Popular Information exposed the hypocrisy of 25 rainbow-flag waving corporations that donated $13 million to anti-gay politicians since 2021, prompting nationwide coverage on NBC News, Fast Company, Real Simple, The 19th, Ad Week, and elsewhere. Our Twitter thread contrasting these anti-LGBTQ donations with corporate Pride tweets went viral.Judd Legum @JuddLegum1. This will be a thread of corporations that plastered their social media accounts with rainbows for Pride Month
How much those corporations donated to anti-LGBTQ politicians since 2021
Follow along if interested.6:31 PM ∙ Jun 10, 202249,090Likes18,287Retweets2. Popular Information revealed that one of the nation's largest movie theater chains, Cinemark, began showing 2000 Mules — a debunked "documentary" promoting the Big Lie — in at least 169 theaters. The chairman and founder of Cinemark, Lee Roy Mitchell, is a major financial backer of Trump and right-wing misinformation platforms. The story was picked up by the Dallas Morning News and the Guardian.3. Popular Information documented how the NRA repeatedly touts its School Shield program, claiming it makes the NRA "America’s Leading Charitable Organization Helping to Protect Our Children," but spends almost nothing. Internal documents show that, in 2021, the NRA spent just $13,900 on School Shield — 0.007% of its 2021 revenue ($282 million).
1. Popular Information exposed the hypocrisy of 25 rainbow-flag waving corporations that donated $13 million to anti-gay politicians since 2021, prompting nationwide coverage on NBC News, Fast Company, Real Simple, The 19th, Ad Week, and elsewhere. Our Twitter thread contrasting these anti-LGBTQ donations with corporate Pride tweets went viral.
2. Popular Information revealed that one of the nation's largest movie theater chains, Cinemark, began showing 2000 Mules — a debunked "documentary" promoting the Big Lie — in at least 169 theaters. The chairman and founder of Cinemark, Lee Roy Mitchell, is a major financial backer of Trump and right-wing misinformation platforms. The story was picked up by the Dallas Morning News and the Guardian.
3. Popular Information documented how the NRA repeatedly touts its School Shield program, claiming it makes the NRA "America’s Leading Charitable Organization Helping to Protect Our Children," but spends almost nothing. Internal documents show that, in 2021, the NRA spent just $13,900 on School Shield — 0.007% of its 2021 revenue ($282 million).
Today, however, I want to hear from you. What's on your mind? What topics would you like to see Popular Information take on in the weeks ahead?
You can leave your thoughts in the discussion thread linked below, starting now. I’ll be dropping by later today to answer as many of your questions as I can.
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I appreciate all your hard work making sure people know what the corporations are actually doing.
I'd actually like to see a deep dive into Nestlé, Cargill, and Unilever.
You got a credit in the NYT yesterday. nytimes.com/2022/06/15/opinion/jan6-companies-donate.html
I'm beginning to wonder if evolution favors the stupid, corrupt, and cruel. The rise of authoritarianism throughout the world is far more widespread than can be explained by unchecked US corporate greed, an apathetic populace, and Democratic leadership incapable of constructing an effective message over the past 6 years. We no longer expect accountability thanks to the corruption of SCOTUS, the ever-hapless Chrisopher Wray, the bumbling Manhattan DA, the comatose AG Garland, or the apparently invisible team (f/k/a 'the unstoppable SDNY'). Without accountability, it's impossible to galvanize the people, so perhaps this country has to reach levels of depravity and horrors sufficiently horrific that our financial markets implode and corporate self-interest will become synonymous (of necessity) with societal wellbeing. We're heading off a cliff as a society, and as a world. Unlike the 1930s, climate change is impacting everyone, and it's getting much worse much faster than anticipated. I hope others see more daylight than I do.
We are in trouble for sure, and many of us are trying hard to figure out what we can do. Use the 3 foot rule: What have you got within 3 feet of you that you can use to improve the world? When you give this some thought, you will realize you could stay busy for for a long time making the world a better place. Love those around you - more. Pick up a pencil - write what you think to those in power. Never underestimate the power of the written word. Find (you will have look for it) common ground with those you disagree with. (Understand that communication is Not about content, it's about a relationship - then you can think about content.)
Think hard, you will find many other things within arms reach that can be done, today, by you, to improve our world. Like, oh, I don't know, like reading Mr. Legum regularly?
Is there a way to show US citizens how much of the discord swirling around comes directly from Russia, so perhaps they wouldn't fall for it?
Thank you! KJ
I would like to see a piece on form I-9 and what large employers are hiring illegals immigrants yet pushing Anita- immigration policies.
Excess profits and how to curb them. Getting rid of limited liability for corporations. Who's behind the Convention of States movement?
What can be done to remove Fox news from basic cable packages? We have Optimum in CT, and, like many, don't want to subsidize disinformation from a faux-news organization. All roads we have explored end up at "deal with Optimum" or buy a bunch of new devices and figure out how to stream what we might want to watch.
Would like to see your take on Peter Thiel and the mimetic (René Girard) philosophy he exposes (which seems to now represent them 'intellectual' right wing.) Thiel clearly is a disruptive, 'conservative' anarchist, supporting Trump acolytes like JD Vance and Blake Masters. Lots of 'smart' people seem to idolize him and I really don't understand why (maybe the money or is it the politics?)
More on mimetics here for those interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimesis#René_Girard
Recent Washington Post article on Thiel: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/02/09/who-is-peter-thiel/
Biggest companies and individuals with record 2020/2021 profits/net worth increase: what they paid in taxes, received in subsidies, major tax write-offs/funds funnelled to other entities, executive compensation versus personnel—even ad and political spending if uncoverable. The incongruities /cheating in the numbers usually speak for themselves. Such info, even if focused, e.g., on Big Oil/Tech/Transport I think this compels a lots of folks, perhaps even more those under 35 with greater reason to be concerned about social justice. Thanks.
Thanks for your excellent investigative work. I’m concerned about (1) keeping a bright light on gun control, who is preventing it, and how; (2) 1/6 Committee’s findings, especially re. insurrection supporters in House and Senate and whether or not SCOTUS has any involvement through Clarence and Ginni Thomas; (3) why it is that Biden, who as far as I can tell is doing a great job under impossible circumstances, can’t get a break from his own party; (4) what we need to know about Opus Dei, who is involved, and its impact, if any, on public policy and the judiciary; (5) whether the Federalist Society is our shadow government; (6) how financial considerations;/imperatives discourage or preclude the media’s reporting of real news. And in all your spare time, could you also talk about climate change?
Is their any deep look at glass recycling? It seems like the process has changed and I suspect that we recycle less glass today than we did five years ago.
Your work is invaluable and a must read. Mind you I usually feel much worse and get a knot in my stomach but you provide facts versus spin. So thank you!! What I would love to see information on the profiteering of the oil companies. Taxes and environmental policies make them no fans of the democrats. It would be no surprise if their underlying goal (besides greed) is to swing the elections towards the Republicans.
I'd love to see more about how the GOP use the Green party to help split votes on the left. I have done ballot petition reviews in PA of Green party petitions to get on the ballot. It was mostly registered Republicans who signed. I used to be registered Green but came to realize they have no actual game plan or strategic vision. According to their website they have a 50 state plan to get on ballots in all states for Presidential elections, including here in a swing state like PA. They claim they want to get 5% of the vote for federal funding, but in light of their 50 state plan makes no sense. They should have a 38 state plan to get on non-swing state ballots. Go knock on doors of Democrats' in red states like KY and AL, where there vote for President doesn't count, and ask for those votes. But they don't understand simple electoral math.
I ran across a thread yesterday that is the perfect description of the Republican Party. They want to tell everyone else what they can and cannot do, but ferociously guard against anyone telling them what to do - (see covid-19) - all of this in the name of "freedom"?
Very ironic that the NRA's contribution to School Shield is 0.007% of 2021 revenue... '007' was always referred to as 'A Licence to Kill' in James Bond novels...
Regardless, Judd your topics are always informative & perhaps an ongoing view to how the world continues to abuse plastic recycling could be added to your list... the stuff won't go away on its own so people have to be continually reminded that not enough is being done by those in the packaging industry to reduce its use...
I love it when you put hypocrites on blast!
No planet? Then no place to discuss politics, saving democracy, and all issues. Is it only a profit motive that keeps semi good news outlets from putting climate change/crisis to the forefront ?? Natural disasters, food shortages, massive migrations, fires, floods, and heat waves are coming faster than we can mitigate.
Keep doing what you do Judd. There might be scope for wider dissemination, not sure how. Perhaps franchise to other outlets? Or a YouTube channel? Or feed directly to TV news? Or lobby for a column in a mainstream newspaper? It must be frustrating to preach to the converted.
Please write an article on how we're pandering to big oil again in an effort to curb the supply and reduce prices!
Love your work! So important. Please look into this and help add pressure to Shack Shack to drop these fascist Christian Nationalists: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/06/how-martins-potato-roll-family-got-behind-doug-mastriano.html
I would like to see more written on why police in schools is not a good thing.
We need a harder look at crypto. Is it actual wealth or just paper wealth that could crumble at any minute?
I have not seen a real discussion regarding the potential implementation of price controls/rollbacks re gas prices.
Can it be done? Or, is it not possible?
Biden sounds so ineffectual when discussing these inflated prices, …. that ain’t good.
I received an email from TripAdvisor today promoting tourism to Saudi Arabia. When I clicked the unsubscribe link, it took me to a page with a rainbow logo. The hypocrisy was incredible. A ****ing rainbow doesn't make up for partnering with a regime that executes LGBTQ people.
Something else to follow up on- a friend and her husband near Raleigh NC, went to the theater to see Kirk Cameron’s Homeschool Awakening doc. Online they had to purchase two seats on opposite sides because it looked liked it was almost sold out. However, when they arrived only a quarter is the seats were actually used. Is this common to inflate numbers of these right-wing films?
Elder care especially in FL. I had a bit of a note written that disappeared somehow. Covid exposed serious staffing issues when regular staffing was already grossly insufficient especially at night.
Is there any more ludicrous title than, "Georgia Senator, Herschel Walker"?
I'm sure that it's been listed already, but I would love to see something on how the Trump campaign's post-election grifting SHOULD lead to criminal prosecution.
Please continue to investigate the Russian connections with the GOP, especially Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.
This is probably too local to but I’m wondering how Rep. Scott Perry and GOP candidate for Governor of PA, Mastriano and a few others (Oz) in PA get their financial backing. They seem like such a huge part of the “Big Lie” scheme and I wonder what outside money is funding them?
The attempted coup is even worse than we thought. All the policy discussion is a waste if the system is gutted. Is America prepared to accept the notion that the SCOTUS - looking at you, Clarence - is deeply corrupt? The J6 Committee is laying it out. Where is DOJ? Who will stop the bleeding?
Love your stuff Judd. You always seem to know what to write about. Some of my suggestions you've already covered and I know you can't write about stuff if there hasn't been any new developments but two stories have me curious. What is going on with Matt Gaetz and Mark Meadows? Didn't Gaetz have a relationship with an underage girl? How has nothing happened there? And for all the whining the right does about fraud, how about the very obvious fraud Meadows committed by registering himself to a trailer he never lived in? There's an actual example of voter fraud and it was a blip on the radar and now that story has disappeared. Why doesn't the left do what the right would do with that information? Plaster it EVERYWHERE! Do not stop talking about it. Hammer him on it every time he goes on television or is out in public. He should never be allowed to work in government again.
I think are less apathetic than demoralized by all the corruption. Poison food, chemicals causing cancer guns everywhere It’s overwhelming
As I wrote you directly, i want to know why, and how, LL Bean is selling slippers “Made in Myanmar”? They were beautiful, and extremely well made, but on seeing the label back they went!
Judd, thanks for your research and journalism. I recently heard of a Post analysis that said more than 100 Republican election deniers will be on the ballot in November. Would you be able to verify or invalidate the truth of this?
After reading yet another BS newsletter from the lying Rick Scott…. Can you determine if he has offshore accounts in which he stashed the millions plundered from medicare and elsewhere ?
Who when and how was 2k mules debunked ?
I applaud your efforts at all of your written material. I wonder about how much of our country is now "owned" by foreigners? Both for business and profit and for 'leisure". I worry about what is "seeping" into our midst without us paying attention.
Judd, your work gets results. Thank you. I’d like to see info on critical campaign races and more follow up on Jan 6 committee revelations. I really appreciate all of your information and always pass it on.
Thank you for the essential work you and you colleagues do on everyone's behalf. Investigative journalism at its absolute best!
Thank you for doing the digging.
Keep up the good work, Judd. We're retired and on a fixed income and have had to cut back on many of the newsletters we used to subscribe to, but continue to renew yours. Thanks so much for your hard and necessary work.
What exactly do all these hypocritical companies get from their donations to politicians? Are there specific examples of how they were helped/favored in congress and state legislatures?
No one has done more to create ignorance in this country than Trump. I still like Hillary’s term - deplorables
Judd, I love the work you and your team and partners are doing. Something that I've wondered about for a very long time is how members of Congress that continue to fight the government do with their constituent affairs. I mean how responsive are some of the right-wingers to the folks who write to them to help address VA claims, Medicare coverage, stuff like that. If one doesn't 'support' the government, how do they reconcile government programs or do they just sorta write them off as entitlements that people have worked to get?
Judd - you are a rock star. If you sell the service, please do not let the establishment muzzle you. Your dedication, persistence and ‘antennae-for-truth-and-hypocrisy’ are world class national treasures. I would appreciate anything you could find out about Hillsdale college. I am a reader of their newsletter, (looking to see how different people are thinking) and their hypocrisy and simplistic reasoning scares me, because it is so often presented by people with advanced degrees who you would think were intellectually honest, but are instead shamelessly partisan and feces-filled in their analysis. All the best
I appreciate shining the light on this hypocrisy. But are there companies that are fulfilling their promises? For example, in the LGBTQ article, both American Airlines and Delta logos were shown, but not United. Do their donations match their LGBTQ support?
Would love to see a collab with you and Alec Karakatsanis (https://twitter.com/equalityalec)