Media Buzz

Why Jake Tapper Is Angry

Jake Tapper explains why he’s often so agitated on his CNN show:

“I recognize that it’s probably a pain in the ass for a lot of people now,” he told The Atlantic. “But it is just who I am.”

“I’m just like, I don’t want any of this to be happening,” he added. “There are so many lies and so much indecency, and I’m not only talking about President Trump. There is just a world of it exploding—and we are, I fear, as a nation, becoming conditioned and accepting of it. And it’s horrific.”

Spicer’s Post-White House Career Fizzles

“At first, Sean Spicer’s exit from the White House followed the blueprint for famous administration officials,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“Step one: Hire mega lawyer/agent Bob Barnett, who has represented presidents and their operatives in lucrative deals, from Barack Obama and David Axelrod to George W. Bush and Karl Rove. Step two: Make the rounds at various TV networks, where a contributor job can yield reliable, high-profile income.”

“But step three — landing the plush TV deal — never happened.”

“Now Spicer and Barnett, who seeks to uphold a reputation as the preeminent talent broker in Washington, are both distancing themselves from one another, according to sources familiar with the matter.”

Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal

Rolling Stone: “The claim that Hillary Clinton was a pedophile started in a Facebook post, spread to Twitter and then went viral with the help of far-right platforms like Breitbart and Info-Wars. But it was unclear whether Pizzagate was mass hysteria or the work of politicos with real resources and agendas. It took the better part of a year (and two teams of researchers) to sift through the digital trail. We found ordinary people, online activists, bots, foreign agents and domestic political operatives. Many of them were associates of the Trump campaign. Others had ties with Russia. Working together – though often unwittingly – they flourished in a new ‘post-truth’ information ecosystem, a space where false claims are defended as absolute facts.”

Anchor Debunks His Network’s Favorite Clinton ‘Scandal’

“Fox News anchor Shepard Smith debunked what his own network has called the Hillary Clinton uranium “scandal,” infuriating Fox viewers, some of whom suggested that he ought to work for CNN or MSNBC,” the Washington Post reports.

“Smith’s critique, which called President Trump’s accusations against Clinton ‘inaccurate,’ was triggered by renewed calls from Republicans on Capitol Hill for a special counsel to investigate Clinton.”

Murdoch Has Offered to Buy CNN

Rupert Murdoch telephoned AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson twice in the last six months and offered to buy cable network CNN, Reuters reports.

CNN has become the focal point in antitrust approval of AT&T’s $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner Inc, hatched in October 2016.

U.S. Journalists Locked Out of Trump Appearance

“Nearly all U.S. journalists covering Presiden Trump’s appearance at a major economic summit in Vietnam were barred from attending key events Friday and Saturday, including photo-ops featuring interactions between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Politico reports.

“A Fox News video crew and an official White House photographer were granted access to the meetings. Fox was the news organization that was tasked with providing pool video to other news outlets. But the rest of the pool reporters, including independent photographers from U.S. news organizations, were blocked from covering the event.”

InfoWars Republished Content from Russian Site

“Over the past three years, conspiracy site InfoWars has copied more than 1,000 articles produced by Russian state-sponsored broadcaster RT to its website — all without the permission of RT,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“InfoWars is headed by radio host Alex Jones who propagated the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory, fueled hate against migrants, and pushed the unfounded theory that former president Barack Obama is not an American citizen… Jones and his outlet have also faced accusations that their work often aligns with Kremlin-funded outlets such as RT, and that they have at times benefitted from amplification from Twitter bots and other Russian information operations.”

Fox News Went 100 Minutes Without Discussing GOP Loss

Slate: “The biggest political story of the hour is that Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie went down big in Virginia after running a Trump-esque campaign fixated on inflammatory culture-war issues, losing to Democrat Ralph Northam by what looks like it will end up as a nine-point margin. It’s the biggest story of the hour, that is, unless you’re watching Fox News: As observed by political writer Chris Hooks, Donald Trump’s favorite network spent more than 90 minutes in prime time on Tuesday—Election Night!—between discussions of election results.”

Mainstream Media Amplified Russian Propaganda

Recode: “U.S. lawmakers are probing the extent of the Kremlin’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election and have focused their latest efforts on tech platforms like Twitter.”

“But new data show that many news publications — from established outfits like the Post, the Miami Herald (owned by McClatchy), Buzzfeed, CBS and even Vox, to controversial alt-right hubs like InfoWars — were duped into citing some of these nefarious tweets in their coverage, perhaps unwittingly amplifying the reach of Russian propaganda.”

Sinclair Won’t Hire O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News prime-time host who was forced out this year after a series of sexual harassment claims, is apparently not welcome at conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Said Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley: “We get approached all the time by a lot of people, and he did approach us. But we do not have any interest in hiring him.”

However, Politico reports that Newsmax is courting O’Reilly for a potential deal that would return him to cable television.

Employees Say Fox Russia Coverage Was Embarrassing

“Some employees at Fox News were left embarrassed and humiliated by their network’s coverage of the latest revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling,” according to conversations CNN had with several individuals placed throughout the network.

Said one: “I’m watching now and screaming. I want to quit.”

Fox News Started Early Questioning Mueller’s Credibility

Vox analyzed the past week of Fox News transcripts, comparing them against cable rivals CNN and MSNBC. What they found was striking:

  • Fox was unable to talk about the Mueller investigation without bringing up Hillary Clinton, even as indictments were brought against top Trump campaign officials.
  • Fox also talked significantly less about George Papadopoulos than its competitors.
  • Fox repeatedly called Mueller’s credibility into question, while shying away from talking about the possibility that Trump might fire Mueller.