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Gingrich Has Long History Of Bigoted Remarks
Fox contributor Newt Gingrich criticized presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s racist attacks on the federal district court judge presiding over two lawsuits against the now-defunct Trump University, calling them a “mistake.” Gingrich, reportedly a potential vice presidential running mate for Trump, has a history of bigoted statements, including claiming that President Obama engages in “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,” smearing Obama as “the food stamp president,” calling then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor “racist,” and saying bilingual education teaches "the language of living in a ghetto."
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Clinton Campaign Has Denounced Anti-Trump Violence, While Trump Himself Has Regularly Instigated Violence
Right-wing media figures are calling on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to condemn violence that broke out at presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign rally, ignoring that her campaign denounced the violence the night of the protests. Conservative media figures previously defended Trump when violent protests broke out at his rallies, despite many major media outlets noting that Trump’s rhetoric has incited and encouraged the violence.
Fox News Talks A Lot About Inequality And Poverty, But Promotes Policies That Would Make The Problems Worse
In the first quarter of 2016, prime-time and evening weekday news programs on the largest cable and broadcast outlets mentioned poverty during roughly 55 percent of their discussions of economic inequality in the United States. During the same time period, Sunday political talk shows mentioned poverty in only 33 percent of discussions of economic inequality.
The Washington Post’s The Fix highlighted CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s observation that journalists are “counseling [Trump] through interviews,” suggesting answers “instead of asking wide-open questions that force the presumptive Republican nominee to clarify all on his own.”
Cuomo has noted that during interviews with Donald Trump, interviewers ask questions framed to push him toward a better answer, saying that journalists suggest to Trump, “When you say this, you know, so you mean like you would just kind of do it this way?” instead of asking open-ended questions. Other journalists such as CNN’s Brian Stelter have criticized media for not pressing Trump hard enough. Stelter said that “we have to address” Trump’s misinformation “head-on as journalists."
Trump has benefited from countless softball interviews. For example, on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, the hosts asked Trump questions such as “Were you right?” following the Brussels terrorist attack. In addition, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly came under fire for her “fluff” interview with Trump on her Fox Broadcasting special, Megyn Kelly Presents. A May 22 panel on CNN’s Reliable Sources criticized her “softball” interview, repeatedly noting that “she didn’t press him” on a number of issues. Many of her questions directly echoed queries that her colleagues at Fox had asked Trump over the past year.
In The Washington Post’s The Fix blog, politics and media reporter Callum Borchers highlighted Cuomo’s critique of the way Trump is interviewed and asserted that journalists play an additional role in vetting Donald Trump: “counselors.” Borchers noted that “interviewers do Trump’s job for him -- suggesting what he must have really meant, instead of asking wide-open questions.” After an analysis of Trump’s interviews on controversial subjects, Borchers said, “Cuomo has a point. Whether they mean to or not, journalists often nudge the billionaire toward safer ground when he ventures down what looks like a politically dangerous path.” From the May 23 article (emphasis original):
It's the media's job to vet presidential candidates, so journalists often serve as critics, pointing out inconsistencies and potential weaknesses voters should know about.
But with Donald Trump, they also play another role, according to CNN's Chris Cuomo: counselors.
Discussing media coverage on Trump with former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer on Friday, the "New Day" co-host observed what he called "the dynamic of kind of counseling [Trump] through interviews." Cuomo offered a generic example of the kinds questions he's talking about: "Like, when you say this, you know, so you mean like you would just kind of do it this way?"
Cuomo's observation is that his fellow interviewers do Trump's job for him — suggesting what he must have really meant, instead of asking wide-open questions that force the presumptive Republican nominee to clarify all on his own.
A review of Trump interviews on controversial subjects suggests Cuomo has a point. Whether they mean to or not, journalists often nudge the billionaire toward safer ground when he ventures down what looks like a politically dangerous path.
Trump, of course, doesn't always take the hint or doesn't care. And it's possible — or perhaps even likely — that reporters aren't so much trying to protect him as simply reacting with disbelief to the often-unprecedented and surprising things he's saying.
Whatever the cause, the result is that questions to Trump often come with the "right" answer built in. And this habit of throwing him a line could help explain why some voters believe the media have been too soft on the real estate magnate.
The challenge for journalists is to suppress their shock and let Trump speak for himself. Are you endorsing internment camps? Was the Heidi Cruz retweet a mistake? Do you want the KKK's support?
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Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s widely panned interview with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump failed to bolster her carefully crafted image as a hard-hitting journalist. Indeed, Kelly recycled a series of softball questions her fellow Fox personalities have previously asked Trump.
Kelly’s May 17 interview was promoted as an exclusive, hard-hitting exchange and reconciliation between the presumptive nominee and Fox’s primetime anchor after the months-long public feud between Trump and the network over Kelly’s questioning of the candidate. Kelly herself said her goal for the interview was an “interesting, compelling exchange.”
But the interview not only featured a series of fuzzy, softball questions -- “Has anyone ever hurt you emotionally?,” “Are you going to stop [combatively tweeting] as president?” -- it also mirrored the way other Fox News hosts have engaged with Trump on air, shattering the illusion that Kelly is somehow different than her colleagues. A series of questions that Kelly tossed to Trump last night sounded conspicuously familiar, and for a good reason: they echoed questions that her colleagues have asked the presumptive GOP nominee over the past year.
Take Bill O’Reilly back in March, asking Trump:
BILL O’REILLY: Donald Trump now is not speaking as the Art of the Deal guy or The Apprentice guy. You’re not speaking anymore on that level. Now you are speaking for the United States. You may be president. I mean, so your rhetoric means so much more than it used to mean. You know, you’re in a different place. A place you have never been in. I'm just wondering how much you’ve thought about all that.
And compare with Megyn Kelly last night:
MEGYN KELLY: You're no longer just Donald Trump, businessman, or Donald Trump, host of Celebrity Apprentice. Now you're steps away from the presidency. Have you given any thought, in this position, to the power that your messaging has on the lives of the people you target and on the millions of people who take their cue from you?
Megyn Kelly has spent years cultivating a reputation as an unbiased journalist, which has been boosted by a number of laudatory profiles that have largely ignored that her show “is made up largely of the kind of stories you'd find on many other Fox News shows at any other time" and that “her talent for fearmongering may be even more insidious than Trump's own.”
The Interview Was Complete Garbage -- And Trump Loved It
For years, reporters have granted Fox News host Megyn Kelly glowing coverage praising her for providing dogged interviews and tough journalism. Tonight’s heavily-touted primetime sit-down with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump should end that con.
Donald Trump was never remotely fazed by the Fox host during their session, batting down her softball questions with aplomb. While Trump introduced the interview by saying that nothing was “off the table,” Trump’s history of violent and incendiary rhetoric, his rapidly-shifting and extreme policy positions, and his numerous lies were all either mentioned in passing or ignored altogether.
Instead, Kelly devoted significant time with the man who may be the next leader of the free world discussing whether he had ever been bullied and if he had learned anything from his divorces. Trump's favorite movie and book and whether he had really boycotted her show all came up.
Kelly framed the interview around Trump’s vicious, sexist, months-long campaign of attacks on her, asking him several questions about their feud. But even with those queries she largely provided him a platform to explain away his actions. They even laughed together about his tweeting technique.
Megyn Kelly made Donald Trump look downright presidential, and he appreciated it. As the interview aired, he retweeted his followers praising their discussion ("best interview I have ever seen") and even denied that the questions had been soft.
Well, that is it. Well done Megyn --- and they all lived happily ever after! Now let us all see how "THE MOVEMENT" does in Oregon tonight!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2016
In short, it was an interview Sean Hannity could love.
But Megyn Kelly is supposed to be more than Sean Hannity. While he is widely recognized as a GOP shill and conservative mouthpiece, she has sought to carve out a reputation as a real journalist with a "reputation for asking tough questions to anyone,” as one of the spate of laudatory profiles she has received over the past few years put it. A handful of video clips where Kelly actually challenged her network’s conservative narratives were regularly cited as the norm, with profilers largely ignoring her record of promoting misinformation and race-baiting.
It has been a brilliantly-executed PR strategy. And the Trump interview exposes it as a lie.
After Kelly asked Trump a tough question about his history of misogyny during Fox’s August GOP debate, he lashed out at her with a series of brutal, sexist attacks. Media observers rushed to Kelly’s defense, rightfully castigating Trump for his actions, but also praising Kelly as a tough journalist. A pause in hostilities led to the scheduling of Kelly’s interview, with many suggesting that Kelly would offer up a serious challenge for the GOP nominee.
But Kelly herself tamped down those expectations, saying after she taped the interview that she doesn’t “feel any need to go in there and try to take down Trump” and calling her goal “to have an interesting, compelling exchange with him.” At the same time, Fox News has largely gotten behind the nominee, with New York magazine’s Gabe Sherman reporting today that Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of Fox News' parent company, “has signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton.” According to Sherman’s reporting, “the message from Roger Ailes's executives is they need to go easy on Trump.”
Tonight’s interview certainly shows that Megyn Kelly got those marching orders.
At least she got to plug her new book. She'll reveal the details of her experience being attacked by Trump -- after the election is over.
Media are pointing out Donald Trump’s reversals on his tax and minimum wage policy stances, calling the pivots “a big change” from his positions in the Republican primary election.
Chris Wallace: "But If There's No Problem, Then Why Pass The Law In The First Place?"
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) was forced to acknowledge that there has not been a single case in North Carolina in which transgender protections have been used to commit crimes in bathrooms, after Fox's Chris Wallace pressed him repeatedly.
Previously, Gov. McCrory parroted the debunked conservative media myth that a "boy who thinks he's a girl" could go into a girls bathroom and pose a sexual assault threat. During a May 8 interview on Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace repeatedly asked the governor whether there had been any convictions in North Carolina for "using transgender protections to commit crimes in bathrooms." McCrory was forced to admit "Not that I'm aware of."
Fox News has a history of stoking fears of sexual assault and misbehavior in restrooms to oppose equal access to public accommodations for transgender people, even promoting several fake stories about harassment in restrooms. From the May 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): How many cases have you had in North Carolina in the last year where people have been convicted of using transgender protections to commit crimes in bathrooms?
GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R-NC): This wasn't a problem. That's the point I'm making. This is the Democratic Party and the left wing of the Democratic Party --
WALLACE: But have there been any cases of this?
MCCRORY: Not that I'm aware of.
WALLACE: Have there been any cases in the last five years?
MCCRORY: Why did the Democratic Party in Houston, Texas --
WALLACE: But I guess the question is, forgive me, if I may, sir, why not just then let it go? If there's not a case of transgender people going in and molesting little girls?
MCCRORY: I haven't used that at all. This is an issue of expectation --
WALLACE : Well, you did say a boy who thinks he's a girl going into a girls bathroom.
MCCRORY: And that's where there's an expectation of privacy. When you go into a restroom, or your wife goes into a restroom you assume the only other people going into that restroom or shower facility is going to be a person of the same gender. That's been an expectation of privacy that all of us have for years.
WALLACE: But if there's no problem, then why pass the law in the first place?
MCCRORY: There can be a problem, because the liberal Democrats are the ones pushing for bathroom laws. And now President Obama and one of my successors as mayor of Charlotte wants government to have bathroom rules. I’m not interested in that. We did not start this on the right. Who started it was the political left. In Houston, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. And now, frankly, in Washington, D.C.
Economists Made Up 1 Percent Of Guests In The First Quarter Of 2016, While Shows Focused On Campaigns, Inequality
Expertise from economists was almost completely absent from television news coverage of the economy in the first quarter of 2016, which focused largely on the tax and economic policy platforms of this year’s presidential candidates. Coverage of economic inequality spiked during the period -- tying an all-time high -- driven in part by messaging from candidates on both sides of the aisle, but gender diversity in guests during economic news segments remained low.
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Despite Press Conferences, Presidential Debates, And Televised Congressional Testimony, Woodward Says Clinton Needs To Tell Voters, “I’m Going To Answer All The Questions” About Email
Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward asserted on Fox News Sunday that Hillary Clinton still has questions to answer about her emails – despite Clinton holding multiple press conferences on the matter, supporting the release of more than 50,000 pages of emails to the public, facing email questions during several presidential debates, and answering more than 50 questions about her emails during 11 hours of televised testimony before the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi.