Media Buzz

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.”

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.”

Bannon vs. the Murdochs

Mike Allen: “The coming war between Steve Bannon and the ‘globalists’ inside the White House promises to be a public spectacle, and a continuing distraction for the Trump administration. But it’s Bannon vs. the Murdoch sons that could really define conservatism — or at least conservative media — far beyond the Trump era.”

“We reported this weekend that Bannon, backed by the billionaire Mercers, has dreams of the Fox rival in the video/TV space. It will be unapologetically nationalist, and unapologetically at war with the Republican establishment, globalism and anyone who sides with either.”

“Oh, and Bannon has the added incentive of knowing Rupert Murdoch — executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the parent of Fox News — pushed for his ouster.”

Bannon Readies His Revenge

Gabriel Sherman:”Bannon also told friends that he believed Kushner encouraged Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch to lobby Trump to fire him. Last week, The New York Times reported that Murdoch told Trump over a private dinner with Kushner that Trump needed to jettison his chief strategist. The Bannon camp believes that Murdoch was especially receptive to Kushner’s lobbying because Murdoch is worried about the rise of Sinclair Broadcasting as a competitor to Fox, and blames Bannon for Trump’s decision so far not to block the Sinclair’s $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media in May.”

“Bannon has media ambitions to compete with Fox News from the right. Last week in New York, he huddled with his billionaire benefactor, Robert Mercer, and discussed ways to expand Breitbart into TV, sources said. ‘Television is definitely on the table,’ a Bannon adviser told me. A partnership with Sinclair remains a possibility. In recent days, Sinclair’s chief political analyst Boris Epshteyn has spoken with Breitbart editors about ways to form an alliance, one Breitbart staffer said. ‘All the Sinclair guys are super tight with Breitbart. Imagine if we got together Hannity and O’Reilly and started something?'”

Quote of the Day

“I feel jacked up. Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, ‘it’s Bannon the Barbarian.’ I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There’s no doubt. I built a fucking machine at Breitbart. And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.”

— Stephen Bannon, quoted by the Weekly Standard.

James Murdoch Slams Trump In Email

“James Murdoch, the 21st Century Fox CEO and son of Rupert Murdoch, one of President Trump’s close informal advisers, has written a scathing email denouncing the president’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville,” CNN reports.

Said Murdoch: “What we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people… I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.”

GOP Lawmakers Are Apparently In Hiding

The Washington Post reports that Republicans want nothing to do with defending President Trump’s remarks on the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville.

“We invited every single Republican senator on this program tonight — all 52,” Chuck Todd said on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily” on Wednesday. “We asked roughly a dozen House Republicans, including a bunch of committee chairs, and we asked roughly a half dozen former Republican elected officials, and none of them agreed to discuss this issue with us today.”

That’s about 70 rejections altogether, and other news anchors had the same experience on Wednesday — even on Fox News.

“Our booking team — and they’re good — reached out to Republicans of all stripes across the country today,” Shepard Smith told his viewers. “Let’s be honest: Republicans often don’t really mind coming on Fox News Channel. We couldn’t get anyone to come and defend him here. Because we thought, in balance, someone should do that. We worked very hard at it throughout the day, and we were unsuccessful.”