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Brian Stelter Tag

The last post I wrote about the Donald Trump Jr. meeting was last Thursday, Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer: “there’s something very unusual about this whole thing”. Subsequent to that post, NBC News broke the story that there were additional people at the meeting than had been disclosed previously. Nonetheless, I think my Newsmax interview that was the subject of the post has held up pretty well:

Yeah, CNN threatened to out the guy who made the CNN wrestling meme. But the threat, according to CNN, was just some language that the legal suits stuck into the CNN statement. So if you complain about it, you're just part of a social-media "mob" that is falsely playing the victim. That was the argument made on Reliable Sources hosted by CNN's Brian Stelter. John Avlon of the Daily Beast, a CNN analyst, warned the media not to let the criticism "distract" them from the "real issue": President Trump's tweet of the wrestling GIF.

Remember Joe the Plumber? Before the 2008 election, Joe asked Obama about his fiscal policies. Obama made himself look terrible by saying he believed in spreading the wealth around. In an obvious effort to take the heat off of Obama, the media attacked Joe the Plumber. Within hours, we knew Joe's real name and address. His tax history was even leaked to the press.

Earlier today, President Trump tweeted out what has been reported to be a WrestleMania video from 2007 in which he took down a wrestler outside the ring. In the place of the wrestler's head, the CNN logo has been superimposed. See video from Trump tweet below. Carl Bernstein had a dark and apocalyptic reaction on CNN's Reliable Sources today. Notably, Bernstein said that the video goes to questions raised by "military leaders" about "the stability of the President of the United States."

Video surfaced Sunday showing what appears to be a CNN film crew staging or at the very least, assisting with the optics of an anti-ISIS Muslim protest in London. Film crews from CNN, BBC, and the AP set up in the middle of the street well before any protest began and before protesters were in place.

About the last accusation you'd expect to hear leveled at CNN is that it is too accommodating to Sean Hannity and Donald Trump. But that's the charge that former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett has made. Appearing on Brian Stelter's Reliable Sources on CNN today, Lovett first praised Stelter as a "bulwark," noting "you go after Hannity on your show."  Lovett then turned the tables, claiming "but then you turn on CNN, and Hannity's got a little beachhead on half the shows on this network." Lovett's beef was that CNN panels include Trump supporters he disparages.

Offering no explanation, the White House excluded CNN, Buzzfeed, the LA Times, the New York Times, and several foreign outlets from its informal press gaggle Friday. Fox and other network outlets were permitted attendance, as were larger right-learning outlets like the Washington Times and One America News Network. Naturally, excluded outlets are less than thrilled. Jake Tapper is one of the better offerings from the cable news world, but he's wrong that the White House stonewalling overtly hostile press is "Un-American."

Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and at the time DNC Vice Chair (now Chair), was caught through the Wikileaks Podesta email dump feeding to Hillary's campaign a question to be used at a CNN presidential town hall. We covered the story previously, Brazile Gave Hillary Campaign Town Hall Question in Advance:
The Wikileaks dump of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta emails shows that then-CNN contributor, now DNC interim chair, Donna Brazile gave Hillary a question ahead of a CNN town hall. Brazile sent this email to Podesta and a few aides, with the subject “From time to time I get the questions in advance.”

After Hillary's frightening health episode Sunday, Donald Trump announced plans to release his own detailed medical records. Of all places, Trump chose the "Dr. Oz Show" to unveil his portrait of health. The awkward plan as it was original explained, was for Dr. Oz would reveal...

After watching the segment below, all I can say is that if you want to see an interview that's heavy on policy, look elsewhere. This was more Barbara Walters than FOX News Sunday. That's not to say it isn't interesting or worth watching, because it is. "Megyn Kelly Presents" airs on the FOX Broadcast Network and not the FOX News Channel and this makes sense for reasons which are apparent. Kelly is obviously trying to expand her reach and kicking off this effort by interviewing Trump is brilliant from a ratings perspective. The first six minutes of the segment recalls the rocky relationship between Kelly and Trump starting with the first GOP debate on FOX News in August of last year using clips from FNC and other news outlets.

The next Republican debate is coming up this Thursday and will be hosted by FOX News. Based on their back and forth the last time FOX News hosted, Donald Trump asked the network to take Megyn Kelly off the moderator desk. Unfortunately for Trump, the network is doing no such thing. USA Today reports:
Fox to Trump: Megyn Kelly will be a debate moderator Fox News has a message for Donald Trump: Megyn Kelly will be a moderator for next week's Republican debate, despite the businessman's call for her removal.

The decision by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz to keep an abbreviated presidential primary debate schedule ruffled the feathers of just about every non-Clinton acolyte. Democratic presidential candidates vocally opposed the meager schedule which they claimed was designed to help Hillary Clinton. So incensed were New Hampshire delegates that they shouted down Wasserman Shultz chanting, "we want debates!" Three of the last four Democratic Presidential Primary debates were scheduled on weekends. The last? Scheduled to compete with two NFL playoff games and PBS favorite, Downton Abbey. After the most recent debate Sunday night (which was cut short by the network), Wasserman Shultz was chastised by CNN’s Brian Stelter for the lack of debate opportunities. Monday, I suggested the paltry debate schedule was doing more harm than good for Hillary, whose poll numbers continue to tank:

The Democratic Party's decision to limit presidential primary debates to a paltry six drew the ire of non-Hillary candidates and delegates alike. O'Malley and Sanders vocally opposed the meager debate schedule, delegates in New Hampshire shouted "we want debates" at DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and candidates considering extra-DNC sanctioned debates were told they'd be ineligible for future DNC debates should they go rogue. As if that wasn't bad enough, three of the last four debates were scheduled on the weekend. Last night's NBC/YouTube debate was scheduled up against two NFL playoff games and Downton Abbey (a PBS favorite). It's almost like the DNC is trying to tuck their presidential debates away in plain sight. CNN’s Brian Stelter prodded DNC Chairwoman Wasserman Shultz on the limited weekend-only debate schedule. Wasserman Shultz claimed other candidate forums, like the one held on Fusion last week, are meant to draw national exposure in lieu of more debates. Stelter expressed his frustration with incredibly low ratings in other candidate forums saying, "I feel like your all's [sic] voices aren't getting heard the way the could be if there were more of these events."

Everyone still with us? That first debate wasn't just a debate--it was a firehose of information, talking points, and (most importantly) soundbites. The night is young, though, and we're ready to see how the top ten candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination measure up. Here's who you should expect to see on the stage at 8:50 p.m. ET:
  • Donald Trump
  • Jeb Bush
  • Scott Walker
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Ben Carson
  • Ted Cruz
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rand Paul
  • John Kasich
  • Chris Christie
To watch the debate online, click here. (You'll need a cable authentication to stream live from Fox.) You can follow the discussion on Twitter here: Round 2 begins in 3...2...