Media Buzz

An Accidental Scoop

Kenneth Vogel writes about how he happened to be sitting next to two of President Trump’s lawyers at a restaurant:

To my astonishment, they were in the midst of a detailed discussion of the Russia investigations being conducted by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and various congressional committees, as well as the strategy of Mr. Trump’s team for responding.

They were in a public place where they could have been overheard by anyone. I just happened to be a reporter, so I figured their conversation was fair game. I ordered another iced tea, pulled out my phone and began typing out notes, hoping that they would assume I was merely responding to emails, tweeting or surfing the internet.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“He believes that television producers, especially of highly rated shows, understand what the public is interested in — what it fears, what it wants, what it loves. And so TV programming in some ways is a more accurate reflection of the public mood than polling. That’s his view, he said it to me. And that’s one of the reasons he watches a lot of television.”

— Tucker Carlson, quoted by the Daily Caller, recounting a conversation with President Trump.

TV Station Forced to Run Pro-Trump Programs

“The company that owns WJAR-TV is mandating the broadcast of multiple programs favorable to President Trump on the state’s most-watched television station,” the Providence Journal reports.

“Sinclair Broadcast Group, a rapidly growing media company that bought Channel 10 in 2014, produces ‘must-run’ segments and distributes them to its local stations nationwide. They must air during daily news programming.”

New TV Series Based on Clinton Impeachment

“History has ordered a six-episode scripted drama that will explore the impeachment of President Bill Clinton,” Variety reports.

“The series will be based on the book The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton by Peter Baker. The series begins with the revelation that President Clinton was having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and continues through the political combat that saw Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Prosecutor Ken Starr, Congressman Bob Livingston and many others dominating the national headlines.”

Trump In Talks for Interview on 60 Minutes

“CBS is in talks with the Trump administration for an interview with the president on 60 Minutes,” BuzzFeed reports.

“The network is hoping to land Trump for the Sept. 24 premiere of its flagship Sunday night news program, but that timing is unlikely… Trump is more likely to sit down with 60 Minutes later this fall, in the hope that he can get into more detail about tax overhaul.”

Judge Throws Out Palin Case Against NYT

A federal judge dismissed Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times, CNN reports

Wrote Judge Jed Rakoff: “Nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust, or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States. In the exercise of that freedom, mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others.”

Bannon Insists He Won’t Turn on Trump

Stephen Bannon spoke to The Economist about his post-White House agenda: “In the White House I had influence. At Breitbart, I had power.”

Among the particular opponents he has in his sights are congressional Republicans — “Mitch McConnell, I’m going to light him up” — and “the elites in Silicon Valley and Wall Street—they’re a bunch of globalists who have forgotten their fellow Americans.”

Yet Bannon insists he will never attack his former boss, President Trump: “We will never turn on him. But we are never going to let him take a decision that hurts him.”

Wall Street Journal Editor Admonishes Reporters

“Gerard Baker, the editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal, has faced unease and frustration in his newsroom over his stewardship of the newspaper’s coverage of President Trump, which some journalists there say has lacked toughness and verve,” the New York Times reports.

“Some staff members expressed similar concerns on Wednesday after Mr. Baker, in a series of blunt late-night emails, criticized his staff over their coverage of Mr. Trump’s Tuesday rally in Phoenix, describing their reporting as overly opinionated.”

Wrote Baker: “Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting… Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?”

Breitbart Editor Pledges to Do ‘Dirty Work’ Against Trump

“A self-described ’email prankster’ seemingly fooled top editors at Breitbart over the weekend into believing he was Steve Bannon, the fired White House chief strategist who returned to the right-wing website as executive chairman on Friday,” CNN reports.

“In the emails, Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow pledged that he and several other top editors would do Bannon’s ‘dirty work’ against White House aides. The emails were shared with CNN by the prankster.”