Fox News said that Ed Henry, one of its top news anchors, had been fired after the network received a complaint last week of sexual harassment from years ago, CNN reports.
Fox News was the most-watched network in prime time, counting both broadcast and cable, for three out of four weeks in June, the AP reports.
Axios: “Before this month, that had never happened. Ever. June is traditionally a slow month for broadcast television, with the schedule crammed with reruns and game shows. And it has been a busy news stretch.”
“The owner of the news outlet that published the columns at the center of the Ukraine scandal helped secure an unpaid White House position for his wife — a fact the publication did not disclose to readers,” Politico reports.
“Jimmy Finkelstein, a wealthy Manhattanite who owns The Hill, was sufficiently involved that he personally discussed his wife’s arrangement with White House lawyers. His wife, former CNN producer Pamela Gross, is a longtime friend of Melania Trump, and she volunteered to help the new first lady find her footing in the East Wing.”
Cable news executives “are working with rivals in an effort to reduce the number of employees it sends to both parties’ conventions, as the coronavirus pandemic has lowered their prominence and created safety risks for attendees and journalists,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Washington Post: “Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread. Dangerously duped.”
“Those who relied on mainstream sources — the network evening newscasts or national newspapers that President Trump constantly blasts as ‘fake news’ — got an accurate assessment of the pandemic’s risks. Those were the news consumers who were more likely to respond accordingly, protecting themselves and others against the disease that has now killed more than 123,000 in the United States with no end in sight.”
“Those who relied on Fox or, say, radio personality Rush Limbaugh, came to believe that vitamin C was a possible remedy, that the Chinese government created the virus in a lab, and that government health agencies were exaggerating the dangers in the hopes of damaging Trump politically.”
President Trump touted the television ratings from his campaign rally in Tulsa last weekend and his town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity this week.
Said Trump: “These are the real polls, the Silent Majority, not FAKE POLLS!”
Susan Glasser: “June began poorly for President Trump, and it’s ending worse. Despite his optimistic pronouncements about the coronavirus, the pandemic is surging across the American South and West. Trump’s poll numbers against Joe Biden are cratering. His former national-security adviser is selling a book that calls him a corrupt fool who’s unfit for office. The number of jobless Americans continues to climb. But, luckily, there are some things Trump can still count on—like the Fox News host Sean Hannity.”
“On Thursday night, with America deep in a crisis that shows no sign of easing, Trump appeared at a Fox News ‘town hall’ led by Hannity. It was a reassuringly safe space for the President. There was not a single mention of the terrifying spike of COVID-19 cases in Texas or Arizona or anywhere else. No one so much as alluded to the hundred and twenty-five thousand or so Americans who have already died from the disease. And Hannity—Trump’s close friend and confidant, who has been called his shadow White House chief of staff—refrained from citing the recent wave of national polls, including one by Fox, that show Trump losing to Biden by double-digit percentage points.”
Google has banned two far-right websites — ZeroHedge and The Federalist — from its advertising platform after research revealed the tech giant was profiting from articles pushing unsubstantiated claims about the Black Lives Matter protests, NBC News reports.
Washington Post: “Over the past week and through Monday, Fox News’s prime-time shows have repeatedly shown clips of violence from the end of May — often the same clips, over and over — to depict chaos and terror gripping the streets of the country. As protesters in Seattle took control of a few blocks in that city, it was blended with the scenes of violence from last month to continue the same narrative. Cities are collapsing — and the left is to blame.”
Timothy O’Brien reports that Donald Trump said on his own syndicated radio show in 2005 that although the idea was “fairly controversial,” he wanted The Apprentice to host “a team of successful African-Americans versus a team of successful whites. Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world.”
Said Trump: “And it would be nine blacks against nine whites, all highly educated, very smart, strong, beautiful. Do you like it?”
The Atlantic: “In what appears to be a signal of intensifying political warfare ahead of the November election, One America News Network, the Trump-supporting cable channel that has been promoting anti-Biden conspiracies for several months, says it has obtained several hours of secret recordings of then–Vice President Biden’s conversations with Ukrainian officials.”
“If such recordings exist, they’re likely linked to pro-Russian interests in Ukraine and a Russian intelligence operation, two former U.S. ambassadors to Ukraine and a former ambassador to Russia told me. The OAN employee who claims to have the tapes would not say what was on them, other than suggesting that they will be revelatory.”
Gabriel Sherman: “On a Friday last August, Sean Hannity flew his private helicopter to Trump National Golf Course in Colts Neck, New Jersey, to attend the wedding of Fox & Friends weekend host Pete Hegseth and Fox producer Jennifer Rauchet. Inside Fox, the wedding had been a topic of much discussion. Hegseth and Rauchet reportedly had an affair and a child together while still married to their respective spouses. But Hannity’s helicopter arrival, a Trumpian piece of theater, was what one former Fox executive remembered most about the event.”
Said a former executive: “Hannity emerged from the chopper with Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt, and they made this grand entrance together. People were like, Wow, okay.”
“It was as if Hannity and Earhardt were the first couple of Fox News—which they are. Four current and former Fox News staffers told me that Hannity and Earhardt are dating—and have been for quite some time.”
Brian Stelter: “Watch Fox News for a few hours, and you might think rioters are still prowling America’s biggest cities, smashing windows and stealing handbags. You might think Minneapolis is still burning. You might think the unrest is getting worse.”
“In the Fox & Friends and Hannity alternative universe, the rioting is still a present-tense threat and could restart at any time. This is contradicted by every news report from every other outlet. The story now is about peaceful, powerful, sustained protest all across the country. But ‘riot porn’ video is irresistible to Fox’s producers and hosts, even though the video is out of date now.”
Daily Beast: “If the stories broadcast by the Trump-endorsed One America News Network sometimes look like outtakes from a Kremlin trolling operation, there may be a reason. One of the on-air reporters at the 24-hour network is a Russian national on the payroll of the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik.”
James Bennet has resigned as editor of the New York Times’ editorial page.
Axios: “Bennet had been under fire for green-lighting an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that called on President Trump to ‘send in the troops’ in order to quell violent protests over the death of George Floyd. Times employees organized a protest on social media and claimed that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger.”
“Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Friday the social media giant will reexamine its policies against violent threats and voter suppression after facing intense backlash over its recent handling of incendiary posts by President Donald Trump, particularly from its own employees,” Politico reports.
Jonathan Karl of ABC News slammed the White House for positioning reporters closer together than usual for President Trump’s remarks in the Rose Garden.
Said Karl: “This is a flagrant violation of CDC guidelines on social distancing and a move that puts reporters at risk for the purpose of turning the press corps into a prop for a so-called ‘press conference’ where the president refuses to answer a single question.”
Jack Shaffer: “You can criticize the page for running Cotton’s retrograde views, which anybody with even a tincture of civil libertarianism running through their veins knows is wrong. But you can’t accuse the page of inconsistency. The 50-year-old section has been outraging or disappointing—depending on your point of view—readers since its founding.”