Media Structures & Regulations

Issues ››› Media Structures & Regulations
  • ABC Reports Corey Lewandowski “Is Back In The Fold” With Trump Campaign While Remaining Paid CNN Contributor

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    Lewandowski
    ABC News reports that Corey Lewandowski is “still involved” in Trump’s campaign, highlighting CNN’s ongoing ethical nightmare in hiring Lewandowski as a paid contributor.

    “Lewandowski is back in the fold,” according to a report released by ABC News from campaign sources that describe Lewandowski’s relationship with Trump as “stronger than ever.” Despite his contract with CNN Lewandowski talks with and advises Trump “almost every day,” according to a “senior level campaign staffer”:

    As Donald Trump arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a rally a week ago, he stepped out of his motorcade and was greeted by a familiar face: Corey Lewandowski.

    Lewandowski had been fired in late-June after serving as Trump’s first campaign manager. Given the internal fighting, Trump’s losing ground in the polls, and the candidate’s and his family’s alleged lack of confidence in Lewandowski, the campaign cut him loose June 20.

    [...]

    Now, a few weeks and a lucrative cable network contract later, Lewandowski is back in the fold, according to multiple campaign sources. They describe Lewandowski’s relationship with the candidate as “stronger than ever.”

    Each day, Trump wakes up, usually in his Fifth Avenue penthouse, and has a routine round of calls, sources say, that includes his campaign leadership (which has changed in recent weeks), his children, some close allies and someone else quite frequently: Lewandowski.

    CNN has been roundly criticized for ethical issues surrounding the hiring of Lewandowski and the subsequent nightmare he has caused the network. CNN has given Lewandowski a platform to defend Trump at every turn, while Lewandowski travels with the Trump campaign and receives paid severance from Trump , while having a non-disclosure agreement with the Trump campaign.

    And despite persistent calls for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski, the network has stood by him as a contributor.

  • Fox’s Sunday Shows Ignore Reports That Former Chief Roger Ailes Is Advising Trump

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox News Sunday and MediaBuzz failed to cover new reporting that Fox News’ former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has assumed an advisory role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. According to The New York Times, Ailes successfully urged Trump to change his campaign’s leadership and offered guidance on his first series of television campaign ads.

    On August 19, the Times reported that an irate Trump “hastily convened” a group “of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway, Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News Chairman, and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News” to address concerns the candidate had with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The report, which detailed Manafort’s ouster from the “chaotic presidential campaign,” noted that during the August 14 meeting, Ailes “urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership.” Bannon and Conway formally joined the campaign as its chief executive and manager, respectively, on August 17, and Manafort exited just two days later.

    The Trump campaign had previously denied Ailes’ advisory role after reports that Ailes was assisting Trump with preparation for the upcoming presidential debates, and Conway told CNN’s Dana Bash this morning that Ailes “has no formal or informal role with the campaign,” but acknowledged that Trump “speaks to many different people.”

    But while CNN’s State of the Union host asked Conway directly about Ailes’ role in the campaign, and CNN’s Reliable Sources also discussed Ailes’ burgeoning role, Fox News’ Sunday shows ignored this development concerning their departed chairman and CEO. A Fox News Sunday panel discussion, and two MediaBuzz segments, all discussing the shake-up in Trump’s campaign leadership team, failed to even mention Ailes. A SnapStream transcript search of Fox News for “Ailes” showed no results from any other shows on the network from today.

  • NY Times Reports Roger Ailes Is Making Leadership And Advertising Decisions For Trump Campaign

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times reported that Roger Ailes, former chairman and CEO of Fox News, has assumed an advisory role in the Trump campaign, successfully urging Trump to change his campaign’s leadership, and offered guidance on Trump’s television campaign ads.

    While the Trump campaign previously denied Ailes’ advisory role, the Times reports that Trump convened a group “of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway, Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News Chairman, and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart news.” The report noted that during the meeting, Ailes “urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership.” The next Tuesday, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was replaced by Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway:

    It was an article in The New York Times last weekend — about frequent but frustrated efforts by Mr. Trump’s top advisers to curtail his pugilistic instincts — that set off the series of events leading to Mr. Manafort’s departure. On Saturday, Mr. Trump raged at Mr. Manafort, holding him responsible for the article.

    On Sunday, Mr. Trump hastily convened a meeting of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway; Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chairman; and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News, a conservative website. Mr. Manafort was not present.

    Mr. Ailes urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership, according to a Republican briefed on the meeting. A former Republican strategist and ad man who was friends with Mr. Trump long before his ouster, Mr. Ailes had reviewed some of the initial television commercials Mr. Manafort had overseen and told Mr. Trump in blunt terms that they were lackluster.

    Only on Tuesday, the eve of its announcement, was Mr. Manafort informed of the campaign’s impending shake-up: Ms. Conway would become campaign manager, and Mr. Bannon would become the campaign’s chief executive.

  • Hannity Praises Trump For Using A Teleprompter After Years Of Demonizing Obama For Using Them

    Sean Hannity: “I Would Argue He Found The Secret Sauce, And He’s Still Trump Being Trump”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Sean Hannity hosted Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway to praise Donald Trump’s use of a teleprompter during a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, despite Hannity’s past obsession with criticizing President Barack Obama’s use of a teleprompter.

    Hannity has spent years obsessively attacking President Obama’s use of a teleprompter to give speeches. He has claimed that Obama “has a teleprompter on each side of the bed when he goes to sleep every night, if he doesn’t actually put it in the bed” adding “most Americans have figured out that you take away that teleprompter, he’s in trouble.”

    Speaking to Conway, Hannity declared, “I like [Trump] on prompter myself, my own personal preference,” adding Trump’s usage of a teleprompter indicated “he found the secret sauce, and he’s still Trump being Trump”:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let me ask you this. He gave two speeches, this is what I -- this is what I think is the secret sauce.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Yes.

    HANNITY: He only talked about Hillary and Obama, he was on prompter. I like him on prompter myself, my own personal preference. But he stayed on a very powerful Donald Trump message. It was totally him, and he made very powerful points, but he outlined the failures and offered solutions.

  • ABC's World News Tonight Ignores Stephen Bannon’s Extremism

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    ABC’s World News Tonight ignored Steve Bannon’s long history of extremism and racism in their report on the Breitbart News CEO’s new job as chief executive for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.  

    ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir characterized Bannon as “a onetime Goldman Sachs banker and film director, stepping down from his current job as head of ultra-conservative Breitbart News,” reporting Bannon had previously attempted to make sure Trump “would not be swayed by Republican leaders calling for a more moderate tone”:
     

    TOM LLAMAS: Today, at Trump Tower, cameras ushered in for what looked a lot like a Trump cabinet meeting. Donald Trump surrounded by his top advisers, and now, some fresh faces. There, at the end of the table, his new campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, and new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. Trump not saying much during this photo op, but his actions today, that campaign shakeup, sends a clear message: Trump is going back to his way of doing things. 

    [...]

    Bannon, a onetime Goldman Sachs banker and film director, stepping down from his current job as head of ultra-conservative Breitbart News. He's never worked on a campaign, but today, the Trump team touting in a press release a magazine article calling him "The Most Dangerous Political Operative In America." Trump, a guest on Bannon's radio show in May, Bannon making sure the candidate would not be swayed by Republican leaders calling for a more moderate tone.

    In contrast to ABC’s reporting, both CBSEvening News with Scott Pelley and NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt highlighted Bannon’s history of anti-immigrant and nationalist rhetoric.