“Fox News had a story at the height of the presidential election that detailed an alleged sexual relationship between porn actress Stephanie Clifford — whose stage name is ‘Stormy Daniels’ — and Donald Trump, but opted not to publish it,” four people familiar with the matter told CNN.
Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade came down on President Trump for his reported “shithole” comments in an Oval Office meeting on immigration, according to Axios.
Said Kilmeade: “Bottom line is, unfortunate comments were exchanged.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Face the Nation host John Dickerson’s move to CBS This Morning effectively setts off “a horse race for one of television’s most influential political roles,” the New York Times reports.
“Likely contenders include Major Garrett, CBS’s chief White House correspondent, and two of the network’s Washington reporters, Margaret Brennan and Nancy Cordes.”
“As Steve Bannon casts about for a new gig after being given the boot from Breitbart News, one place he will certainly not be heading is Fox News,” The Wrap reports.
“Mere hours after his departure from the conservative website, the network moved to swiftly slam the door on any talk that the newly unemployed Bannon may be signed as a contributor.”
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.”
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.
Rick Wilson: “Steve Bannon’s spectacular fall from grace in Trump World is a big, salty, delicious bowl of schadenfreude from the political gods in celebration of the new year.”
“Bannon wasn’t just one of Trump’s most senior aides and an architect of the destruction of the Republican Party; he was the multi-shirted, red-eyed White House troll, leaking tales of his brilliance to a constellation of reporters in the ostensibly hated mainstream media. His house organ Breitbart and a host of Trump-right websites and news outlets sang praises to his dank genius. Bannon, they proclaimed, was Trumpism in its distilled essence: revanchist, ahistorical, racially inflected, and consumed with an imaginary war on the media and America’s broader society.”
“Now, like two rats in a bag, Trump and Bannon are tearing at one another in a delicious public spat that has every possible bit of drama, except Bannon drunkenly bellowing for a round of fisticuffs with all comers and Trump offering to compare the length of their relative manhoods on live television. They deserve one another in so many ways.”
Matthew Gertz: “Everyone has a theory about Trump’s hyper-aggressive early morning tweetstorms. Some think they are a deliberate ploy the president uses to distract the press from his administration’s potential weaknesses, or to frame the public debate to his liking. Others warn his rapid shifts from one topic to another indicate mental instability.”
“But my many hours following the president’s tweets for Media Matters for America, the progressive media watchdog organization, have convinced me the truth is often much simpler: The president is just live-tweeting Fox, particularly the network’s Trump-loving morning show, Fox & Friends.”
For members: Rupert Murdoch Controls What Trump Thinks