Media Buzz

Americans Have More Confidence In News Media

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Americans are increasingly confident in the news media and less so in President Trump’s administration after a tumultuous year in U.S. politics that tested the public’s trust in both institutions.

The poll found that the percentage of adults who said they had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the press rose to 48% in September from 39% last November. Earlier this year, Trump branded the entire industry as the “enemy of the American people.”

Russian-Backed Accounts Still Active on Social Media

“Twitter has continued to allow a Russian government-supported news network to advertise on its platform, even though the tech company sounded alarms about its ads to lawmakers investigating the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election,” CNBC reports.

“Facebook, meanwhile, similarly has not shut down RT’s official pages, one of which boasts more than 4.5 million followers. Nor has Facebook targeted any new advertising restrictions against the news network.”

Megyn Kelly Tries to Remake Herself

The Washington Post reviews Megyn Kelly’s new show on NBC that aired this morning:

The hour crawled by. A middle segment featured the “Today” regulars welcoming Kelly to 30 Rockefeller Center, a predawn festivity of studied smarm, with the added delight of seeing Kathie Lee Gifford sit in her makeup chair and play nice-nice with Kelly the way an old house cat would welcome a naive and extra-squeaky mouse to the kitchen.

John Oliver had a preview of her show last night:

Apocalyptic Message Interrupts TV Broadcasts

“Many Californians’ regularly scheduled broadcasts were interrupted Thursday morning with strange emergency messages warning of extraterrestrial invasions and the beginning of Armageddon. The bizarre warnings aired on TVs in the Orange County area,” Gizmodo reports.

From the message: “The space program made contact with… They are not what they claim to be. They have infiltrated a lot of, uh, a lot of aspects of military establishment, particularly Area 51. The disasters that are coming—the military—I’m sorry the government knows about them…”

‘Stop the Hammering!’

Someone leaked outtakes from the filming of MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell’s show on Aug. 29, 2017.

In the collected clips, O’Donnell is absolutely irate at his staff over an apparent equipment malfunction, swearing under his breath and demanding to know who’s to blame.

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.”

Vice Pitches a Political Reality Show

Hollywood Reporter: “Politics can be boring. Vice, which has some experience in making boring topics fun, is in the very early stages of developing a reality show that will have people of all political stripes living in a group house in Washington, D.C.”

“The show, if made, will be set in Washington, D.C., and will be shot next spring.”

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.”