Media Buzz

Inside Harvey Weinstein’s Last Days

Vanity Fair: “As Weinstein saw that his time and his options were running out, he began to scramble. And as revealed here for the first time, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Weinstein and a coterie of loyalists… would allegedly spend his last days at the company searching for and trying to delete documents; absconding with others; surveilling ex-employees’ online communications; and seeking to discover who, in the end, had orchestrated his downfall.”

Why Are We Only Learning of Stormy Daniels Now?

Washington Post: “Several journalists surely knew who Stormy Daniels was in 2016, and it probably wasn’t because they’d seen her in one of the many porn films she’d made. The adult-film actress was on the radar of a number of mainstream news outlets in the waning days of the presidential campaign. Reporters from ABC, Fox News, the Daily Beast and Slate.com were pursuing a potentially explosive story: that Daniels had allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, only months after Trump’s wife, Melania, had given birth to their son, Barron.”

“Why wasn’t the story reported at the time, when it might have intensified questions surrounding Trump’s character just before voters went to the polls? Journalists say they held back because they couldn’t independently corroborate key elements of Daniels’s account, including in one instance from Daniels herself. The story, in other words, failed to rise to journalistic standards, never mind that it involved a man who regularly attacks the news media for lacking standards.”

Flake Will Compare Trump to Stalin In Speech

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) “is planning to slam President Trump’s attacks on the press on the Senate floor this week in a speech that will compare the president’s use of the term ‘enemy of the people’ to describe the media to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin,” NBC News reports.

From excerpts: “When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”

Who Clicks on Fake News?

NBC News interviewed political scientist Brendan Nyhan about his new study on the spread of fake news.

Said Nyhan: “The group that visited fake news websites the most frequently was the 10% of Americans with the most conservative information diets. These are people who are visiting a lot of websites that are disproportionately consumed and shared by conservatives relative to liberals. It’s not that fake news is a substitute for political news, it’s being added on to a diet of like-minded political news of a more conventional variety.”

He added: “They’re a subset of Americans who follow politics extremely closely. For all the saturation coverage that politics receives, its still a pretty small part of the news diet for most people.”

Also interesting: “Facebook stands out in our data as the site people visited most disproportionately prior to visiting a fake news website. We don’t observe the same pattern with Google, Twitter, or web mail platforms. Journalists love to talk about Twitter, but it just doesn’t compare in reach to Facebook.”

Foreign Press Has Trouble Translating ‘Shithole’

Mother Jones: “When news broke that President Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as ‘shithole countries,’ newsrooms across the country had to decide how to handle the expletive… On CNN, anchor Wolf Blitzer avoided using the word by saying ‘s hole’ (over and over) instead. The Washington Post boldly put ‘shithole’ in the headline of the scoop and many outlets followed suit.”

“But media in non-English speaking countries are having a different challenge of having to translate the term.”

Bannon Ousted at Breitbart

Stephen Bannon is stepping down from his post as executive chairman of Breitbart News, the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Bannon’s departure, which was forced by a onetime financial patron, Rebekah Mercer, comes as Mr. Bannon remained unable to quell the furor over remarks attributed to him in a new book in which he questions President Trump’s mental fitness and disparages his elder son, Donald Trump Jr.”

Washington Post: “It leaves him with no evident platform to promote his views and no financial basis for his preferred candidates.”

A source close to the White House to Jonathan Swan: “God, I can’t believe the whole movement just collapsed on this guy. He’s done.”

Miller Had to Be Escorted Off CNN Set

White House adviser Stephen Miller was escorted off the set of CNN’s “State of the Union” after a contentious interview with host Jake Tapper, Business Insider reports.

Two sources close to the situation said that after the taping was done, Miller was politely asked to leave several times. He ignored those requests and ultimately security was called and he was escorted out, the sources said.