Image 01 Image 03

Media Tag

Republican Presidential candidates wanting a podium on the debate main stage will have to first qualify. CNBC set a 3% polling floor for the upcoming October 28th presidential debate. There will be an undercard debate, but that too has a polling floor. To qualify for the kiddie table, candidates must have received at least 1% in any one national poll -- no averages here.

During the first Republican presidential debate earlier this month, all hell broke loose after an exchange on the "war on women" between debate moderator Megyn Kelly and contender Donald Trump. The furor over Kelly's snark, and Trump's audacity, boiled over into a weeks-long debate between those convinced that Kelly had wrongfully attacked Trump, and those who felt like Kelly's question about Trump's tone toward women was fair. So, who won? I'm not ready to call this for either side yet (there's still plenty of time for either party to reload) but polling data suggests that as of right now, Donald Trump has come out on top over Fox News. From Public Policy Polling [emphasis mine]:
Trump is winning his fight with Megyn Kelly. When we last polled her in December of 2013 her favorability with Republicans nationally was 44/9. Her favorability is in a similar place now at 42% but her negatives have shot up to 20%, largely because she's at 20/43 with Trump's supporters.
Trumps supporters are angry about the way the debate exchange went down, and it shows.

Hillary Clinton stirred up a hornets nest with her comparison of her GOP rivals to terrorists:
“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world—but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States,” Clinton said.
On Morning Joe today, the panel discussed Hillary's comments: 
Host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe Joe Scarborough lambasted Hillary Clinton for comparing her GOP rivals to terrorists, calling the remarks “gutter politics at its worst” designed to distract from her email scandal. “It was disgusting. It was absolutely disgusting,” Scarborough said. “Hillary Clinton saying that somebody who is pro-life– I mean, let’s tell the truth; she wanted us to talk about this. She wanted to throw a bright shiny object out there, so they don’t talk about the email scandal.”

Is Hillary Clinton nervous, irritated, or both? If I'm placing my bets, I'm going with nervous. Things aren't going well for her---recent polling shows that voters like Vice President Joe Biden (some like him even more than they like Clinton,) the media is closing in on her inconsistencies regarding her server and personal email accounts, and from a legal perspective, the federal judge tasked with handling Judicial Watch's official inquiry into her time as Secretary of State is less than impressed with the answers her generals have provided in court. When it comes to the media, I'm sure Clinton expected to skate through at least the primary without any major hits to her reputation or record. It was a reasonable mindset; after all, it's Hillary. It's her time. It was not to be. Several journalists have caught the scent of blood in the air, and aren't letting go of the email story. Today during the summer meeting of the DNC, Fox News' Ed Henry asked Clinton a series of questions about the propriety of Bill Clinton's paid speeches in North Korea, Hillary's trusted advisor Huma Abedin, and whether or not any other cabinet secretary has ever used their own server. Her response? Well, let me answer one of your questions because I think that’s what you are entitled to. It really happened. Listen:

This morning, Virginia reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot and killed during a live broadcast near Moneta, Virginia. The shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan, shot himself approximately five hours after the murders. Flanagan was previously employed by WDBJ as a reporter, but was dismissed after anger management issues boiled over between himself and the other members of the news team. WDBJ is currently using their live broadcast to talk about Flanagan's time with the station, and why he was fired.

Yesterday in Iowa, the Hillary Clinton campaign told their young supporters they couldn't speak to the press. This clumsy and seemingly paranoid move earned Hillary Clinton mockery even on MSNBC. Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard has the details:
"Here's what struck me," said Susan Page of USA Today, "when I read the coverage in the Des Moines Register this morning. Jennifer Jacobs, who's been on your show, was covering this last night. Big demonstrations outside of young people for O'Malley and Hillary Clinton. She went up to the Clinton supporters -- these are protesters for Clinton -- and they were told they were not allowed to [speak to] a reporter." Page continued, "Now, why in the world would the campaign tell their own supporters who came out to campaign in favor Hillary Clinton ... these are the young people, college kids, for Hillary, and they've been told they can't talk to reporters. Why in the world would you do that?
Enjoy the video:

Last night, a writer at Gawker outed and gay-shamed someone at the behest of an unnamed (for his safety!) source. It was a story steeped in sex, fame, cash, and blackmail, which made it a perfect target for today's salacious clickbait culture. Today, Gawker's managing partners voted 5-1 (with the lone dissenter being the editor who approved the story) to take the story down---but the damage has already been done. Sorry, Nick Denton---you don't get to take this one back. (The link above is a web archive link; if you wish to read their hit job, you can click knowing that you won't be giving Gawker any traffic.) Long story short, Gawker allegedly received a series of text messages and photos showing a planned liaison between Condé Nast CFO David Geithner (his name sounds familiar because he's Tim Geithner's brother) and a gay porn star and escort. Gawker claims that the escort, whose story is told under the pseudonym "Ryan," sent them the photos and text messages after Geithner (who is married to a woman) was unable to meet him as planned during a Chicago business trip. Major money was involved: $2500 plus airfare for "Ryan's" plane ticket from Texas to Chicago. Geithner forwarded a chunk of the cash to "Ryan" in advance, and sent his photo and lodging plans to "Ryan" via text:

It's probably safe to say that there aren't many liberals in media who were impressed by Hillary Clinton's recent interview on CNN. Chuck Todd of NBC, Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, Mike Barnicle of MSNBC and others had little praise. David Rutz of the Washington Free Beacon put together a highlight reel of media reactions:
The Media Thought Hillary’s CNN Interview Was Terrible Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s first wide-ranging, sit-down interview of the 2016 election cycle was a dud, according to mainstream media observers. MSNBC’s Morning Joe panelists thought she was evasive, fearful, and gave off an annoyed vibe. On immigration, she made untrue claims about her Republican opponents and CNN’s Jake Tapper warned her about overplaying her hand. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota called her out for blaming right-wing attacks for her sinking poll numbers, reminiscent of her accusations of a “vast right-wing conspiracy“ when she was first lady. Meet the Press‘s Chuck Todd, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, and BBC’s Katty Kay all said, separately, she looked “defensive” on questions about her private email server.

A professional campaign operative I know believes optics are extremely important when it comes to political candidates. Therefore, the optics of Hillary Clinton having her staff herd reporters behind a rope during a parade in New Hampshire certainly didn't look all that great. For the reporters who were there, the story became about being held behind ropes as Hillary walked the parade route:
At the Fourth of July parade Hillary Clinton marched in today in Gorham, New Hampshire, reporters following the candidate were kept -- and at moments, dragged -- behind an actual moving rope line. The rope, which two Clinton staffers held on to on either side, was meant to give Clinton space as she walked down the parade route, but photos of reporters being dragged behind the rope as she marched have gone viral on Twitter.
They certainly did. Here are a couple of them:

The NY Times refuses to publish cartoons of Mohammed even as part of news stories about cartoons of Mohammed, and the violence that ensues. But The NY Times has no hesitation in publishing Condom Pope artwork, a portrait of the Pope composed of condoms. The Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan, who functions as a quasi-ombudsman, wrote how the Times Standards Editor responded (emphasis added):
The standards editor, Philip B. Corbett, fielded an inquiry about this from The Washington Examiner. Here’s how he responded:
There’s no simple, unwavering formula we can apply in situations like this. We really don’t want to gratuitously offend anyone’s deeply held beliefs. That said, it’s probably impossible to avoid ever offending anyone. We have to make these judgments all the time. Reasonable people might disagree about any one of them.

Have you noticed that the same media that uses words like "extreme" to describe Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and other Republicans finds nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to Bernie Sanders? Sanders, who wants a 90% tax rate for the wealthiest Americans, and recently came under fire for a 1972 column describing female rape fantasies, describes himself as a socialist---yet the media treats him like a viable candidate for 2016. Socialism is the most important aspect of Sanders' political identity and goes a long way in helping us understand the media's kid-glove treatment of him. Jennifer Harper of the Washington Times:
The Bernie Effect: Media normalize socialism There’s yet another trend in the trendy news media, identified by more than one concerned critic. Consider a new Investor’s Business Daily editorial titled “The soft-soaping of socialism in the U.S.” The publication focuses on the happy-go-lucky press coverage of a certain Vermont independent making a vigorous run for the White House as a Democrat.

America's foreign policy in the Middle East is falling apart and health insurance premiums are skyrocketing under Obamacare, but the liberal media feels your pain, America. As usual, it's all about Obama. Amber Phillips of the Washington Post:
President Obama’s legacy is increasingly in legal jeopardy President Obama's second-term agenda, it seems, is in the hands of the courts. Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Climate change. And now immigration. And in many cases, there is significant doubt about whether his signature initiatives will stand legal scrutiny. The latest blow to Obama's second-term plans came Tuesday when a federal appeals court in New Orleans denied the administration's request to move forward with implementing his expanded executive action on immigration to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.
That's funny. He didn't run on gay marriage. In fact, Obama said in a 2008 interview with pastor Rick Warren that he believed marriage was between a man and a woman.

The smoke may have cleared, but the Rolling Stone retraction disaster isn't over yet. UVA associate dean of students Nicole Eramo has filed a multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone, its parent company Wenner Media, and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely for their portrayal of Eramo in the now-retracted and forever infamous "A Rape on Campus." One of Eramo's chief responsibilities at UVA was to handle allegations of sexual assault. In the complaint, she argues that Rolling Stone and Erdely used her to personify the "campus indifferent to sexual assault" narrative and as a result caused her emotional and physical distress, and damaged her reputation. The complaint itself is a parade of horrors. It lays out the allegations Rolling Stone and Erdely made one by one---that Eramo coddled Jackie, that she was indifferent to Jackie's allegations, that she pressured Jackie to not report a rape, that she abused Jackie, and that she attempted to suppress Jackie's rape---and lays out the case that Rolling Stone's own subsequent statements to the media prove that those allegations weren't only untrue, but "categorically false" and defamatory per se.

If you're wondering why the Democratic Party's presumed 2016 nominee has been quiet lately, you're not alone. Hillary Clinton has answered only seven questions from the media since announcing her run for president. Zach C. Cohen of National Journal:
Here Are All Seven Media Questions Hillary Clinton Has Answered During Her Campaign Most of the media questions Clinton has answered have focused on policy (the exact type of inquiry she recently encouraged reporters to focus on). They've touched on ongoing trans-Pacific trade negotiations, campaign finance, and foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation... Here are all seven: Question 1: "Secretary Clinton, your reaction please to these book allegations? Did foreign entities receive any special treatment for making any kind of donations to the foundation or your husband?"—ABC in Keene, New Hampshire, April 20

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Hope you're all enjoying your...composting...and your...carbon offsets? I used aerosol hairspray today, so I'm not even going to pretend I observe this non-holiday. President Obama does, however. Today, he boarded his private jumbo jet and burned down to the Everglades to deliver a blistering take on his political opponents who aren't doing enough to stop people from flying their private jets everywhere. Also, something about protecting fragile ecosystems. In anticipation of Obama's Earth Day stump speech, the media started publishing annoying articles about Air Force One's carbon footprint. How inconvenient, right? When asked about the jet's effect on the environment, White House press secretary Josh Earnest crumbled under the weight of his boss's sanctimony. Watch the madness unfold:

Earlier today, I wrote about the importance of pointing out every time an official spokesperson gets testy with their press pool over fair-yet-tough questions. Marie Harf got herself in hot water yesterday when she hinted to the corps that the questions they were asking were far too complex to cover in a press briefing, then got caught lying about how much information she had about the Iranian nuclear deal. It was ugly, and told us a lot more about the State Department than Harf's policy bullet points. Today, Josh Earnest ran into a similar roadblock during the midday press briefing with the White House press corps. Earnest has a history of trying to run offense around tough questions, but it's only recently that the corps has responded with soundbite-worthy pushback. Today's little show involved a question about a comment Hillary Clinton made about small business growth under the Obama administration. She said that small business creation has "stalled out" in the United States, and ABC News correspondent Jon Karl wanted a response from the White House. Watch here, via Real Clear Politics:

We in the conservative media have spent a great deal of time over the past 6 years criticizing the Obama comms shop for freezing the media out of its most controversial decisions. Conservatives are used to a biased press pool, and for the most part, this group hasn't disappointed in that regard, even when they haven't had all the information they needed to write a story. Apparently, though, the lack of information flowing from the White House to the press pool has slowed to a trickle---and the corps is ready to fight back. The White House Correspondents Association is preparing a list of demands promises they hope the White House will commit to. The corps has been working on the list for over a year, but a recent snub on the part of the President's team has kicked the conversation about press access into high gear. The Washington Examiner explains what happened: