Media Buzz

Remembering Roger Ailes

Matt Taibbi: “Ailes was the Christopher Columbus of hate. When the former daytime TV executive and political strategist looked across the American continent, he saw money laying around in giant piles. He knew all that was needed to pick it up was a) the total abandonment of any sense of decency or civic duty in the news business, and b) the factory-like production of news stories that spoke to Americans’ worst fantasies about each other.”

“Like many con artists, he reflexively targeted the elderly – ‘I created a TV network for people from 55 to dead,’ he told Joan Walsh – where he saw billions could be made mining terrifying storylines about the collapse of the simpler America such viewers remembered, correctly or (more often) incorrectly, from their childhoods.”

Tapper Slams Trump for ‘Self-Pity’

Jake Tapper took exception on CNN at President Trump’s claim that he’s been treated more unfairly than any other president in history.

Said Tapper: “Every single one of the president’s wounds is self-inflicted. Every single one. I don’t really understand the propensity for self-pity at a time like this.”

He added:  “My second reaction is, four U.S. presidents have been actually literally assassinated and killed. But more broadly speaking, when it comes to a president that has been treated unfairly, I mean that president led the charge claiming that the first African-American president was born in Africa. Which is not only a charge that is false, but is not a little bit racist.”

Bannon and Stone Helped Slam Ailes Foes

Several people familiar with the arrangements have told Politico that President Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and longtime confidant Roger Stone coordinated with Roger Ailes to monitor and undermine the ousted Fox chief’s perceived adversaries.

“In the weeks before the release of Gabirel Sherman’s biography, 2014’s The Loudest Voice in the Room, Bannon huddled inside a Fox News conference room with Ailes, Ailes’ personal attorney Peter Johnson Jr., pollster Pat Caddell and former Fox journalist Peter Boyer to discuss discrediting the book… true to form, Bannon advocated an all-out ‘go to war’ approach…”

Reporter Arrested for Trying to Ask a Question

Esquire: “In a day of truly cinematic developments from the executive branch, one nearly slipped by. Journalist Dan Heyman, a producer for Public News Service, approached Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and his colleague Kellyanne Conway at the capitol building in West Virginia to ask them a question about the American Health Care Act. A few minutes later, he was arrested.”

“Preliminary eye-witness reports suggest that capitol police were unaware Heyman was a member of the press. He was reportedly detained after getting too close to Price and Conway. Heyman was charged with ‘willful destruction of state government processes’ by the capitol police and held in a regional jail for several hours. He was released on $5,000 bond.”

News Media Solicits Leaks on Comey Firing

“In response to the unexpected firing of FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, major news organizations tweeted out links to secure hotlines where anyone with knowledge of information around the controversy could anonymously submit tips. They include the New Yorker, Washington Post, USA Today, Wired, Vice and more,” according to Axios.

“The abrupt firing of Comey is likely to raise concerns with many officials, perhaps even some in the White House, and could prompt them to leak information to the press.”

TV Station Adds Newscast to Run More Political Ads

An Atlanta television station added a 7 p.m. newscast on its sister station for the sole purpose of running more political ads, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

“Two sources at 11Alive said the newscast is temporary and tied directly to accommodate a flood of political ads promoting (or taking down) either Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel vying for the hotly contest House seat left behind by Tom Price, now the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. They said the newscast will end after the runoff is over June 20.”

Fox News Dug Up Dirt on Women

“Federal investigators looking into sexual harassment settlements and alleged intimidation tactics at Fox News are eyeing mayoral hopeful Bo Dietl’s work for the network,” the New York Daily News reports.

“The former private investigator admitted Thursday to the Wall Street Journal that he was hired by Fox News to investigate several women who made sexual harassment allegations against the company and its former chairman Roger Ailes.”

How Trump Thinks Like a Journalist

Jonathan Swan: “President Trump broke a ton of news in his whirlwind of 100-day interviews. But a close read of the interviews reveal a skill that helped him win the presidency: Trump instinctively understands the reporter’s psychology. You see this side of Trump in his off-hand asides to the journalists interviewing him that you get when the publication publishes the full transcript.”

“Trump’s presidential victory was fueled by an understanding of media and showmanship, from the news generated by his Twitter account to his rallies being fodder for live cable television. He’s been sparring with and feeding Manhattan journalists for decades and brought that skill/obsession to the White House. The 100-day interviews are the freshest examples of the flip side to his media hatred — he eats up the coverage because he’s his own audience.”

For members: What We Learned from Trump’s 100-Day Interviews