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Trump 1, Journalism 0

I knew Roger Ailes was cynical, but I never imagined he would do this. [1] Gabriel Sherman writes:

For a few days, Ailes didn’t know how to handle Trump’s full-throated attack on Kelly, who accused Trump of sexism during the debate. Eventually, as I reported yesterday, he made the same choice he always does: follow the ratings, and mend fences with Trump. But that process has meant that Fox has had to mute its defense of Kelly, who is now watching uneasily as the Fox audience turns on her: According to one high-level source, Kelly has told Fox producers that she’s been getting death threats from Trump supporters.

More:

Ailes’s next order of business was getting Trump to disarm publicly. According to a source briefed on the negotiations, Ailes called Trump “multiple” times yesterday morning “begging” him to tweet out that they had made peace. Trump refused at first, but finally consented. “Roger Ailes just called,” he tweeted at 10:35 a.m. yesterday. “He is a great guy & assures me that ‘Trump’ will be treated fairly on ‪@FoxNews. His word is always good!” (Irena Briganti, Ailes’s spokesperson, did not respond to a call for comment. The Trump campaign declined to comment.) Last night, Ailes put his own spin on it and released a statement. “We had a blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared,” he said, adding that Kelly is a “brilliant journalist.” For her part, Kelly addressed the controversy only briefly on her show, saying simply: “I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism.”

Good for her. It’s disgusting that Roger Ailes would do this to one of his people, whose only sin was asking a legitimate question that ticked off a petulant billionaire. I’m not a Fox News viewer, or a cable news viewer, and I wouldn’t know Megyn Kelly if she walked in my front door. But I saw the debate the other night, and there wasn’t a thing wrong with her question. That the chief of Fox News would throw one of his journalists to the sharks, especially to appease a man like Trump, is disgraceful. What kind of credibility will Fox News’s moderators have in future debates? Everybody will know that they are pulling punches on Donald Trump. And if they’ll do it for Trump, who else will they do it for, if they throw a big enough fit?

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85 Comments To "Trump 1, Journalism 0"

#1 Comment By M_Young On August 12, 2015 @ 9:43 am

Was ¡Jeb! questioned about his decision to join Lehman a couple of months before it collapsed, taking a good portion of GDP with it? Was he questioned about his association with worlds richest man, telephone monopolist and funder of open borders propaganda Carlos Slim? Seems to me these are far more relevant questions than whether trump called a celebrity a fat slob (he is, after all, a truthteller).

As for Trump supporters and the disdain shown for them here — well, if they are the supposed ‘id” of America, the comments here illustrate the prissy superego. Which is kind of funny, because so many of them are Obama supporters, and the key to their ‘coalition’ is the worst behaved, most violent, most welfare dependent demographic in the country.

Not only is that demographic currently destroying a midwest suburb, it has brought [2].

But it’s the Trump supporters who are the ‘id’ of America. Right.

#2 Comment By Hari.Seldon On August 12, 2015 @ 9:47 am

Trump 1, Journalism 0

In what universe does Fox produce journalism? In this one it’s the propaganda arm of the GOP.

[3]

And here is the French equivalent of the daily show [4].

[NFR: Do you really want to live in a world in which a government sues a media outlet for its reporting? I bet you do. — RD]

#3 Comment By H.L. VanBuren On August 12, 2015 @ 10:01 am

And this morning on the Fox News website we have three, count’em three, videos under the “Watch Now” header highlighting Trump’s campaign.

Yep…the payoff is being made.

#4 Comment By S On August 12, 2015 @ 10:03 am

” Everybody will know that they are pulling punches on Donald Trump”

They already lost all of their credibility when someone called in a hit job on Trump for the first debate. Even if you think the questions were fine (and not premised on out of context quotes), and had any relevance at all, the other candidates were spared the same level of heat. Even the other candidates picked up on it and decided to let the “moderators” do the dirty work for them. Everyone picked up on that, and Ailes knows it. So, yeah, now they are screwed with no good option.

#5 Comment By Peter Jones On August 12, 2015 @ 10:16 am

This is really a case of double-cyncisim on Ailes’ part. First, he allows Fox to become a Republican establishment vehicle for trying to get rid of Trump. Then, when the attempt back-fires, he immediately back-peddles under Trump’s attacks on Fox.

And Fox is not that much worse than the rest of our corporate journalism.

Trump will end up destroying himself. But at least this time–unlike in the case of Ron Paul–the Republican party scheming to force a slate of drones on the party grass roots is leaving discernible finger prints.

#6 Comment By M_Young On August 12, 2015 @ 10:22 am

BTW, speaking of the media, Barvetta Singletary, the white house aid that could (but won’t) be charged with attempted murder of an off duty white house cop, shows up exactly zero times on the LA Times website and once, in a 4 short paragraph, maybe 150 word piece at the New York times.

Singletary wasn’t some low paid clerk in the mailroom. Her title was ‘Special Assistant to the President and Legislative Affairs Liason’, for which she pulled down 126,500 dollars, 80% higher than the average white house salary.

She shot at a capital cop, with his own gun. You’d think that would be news worth covering in some detail. But the ‘prestige media’ buries it or doesn’t cover it at all.

#7 Comment By Peter Jones On August 12, 2015 @ 10:22 am

Also, all we have to back up the claim of death threats to Kelly at the moment are the usual unidentified source. The claim of death threats may well be another attempt to portray Trump supporters as unhinged. So even as Ailes makes nice with Trump, his organization may be continuing to play the surreptitious anti-Trump game.

No matter what you think of Trump, the whole system is a fetid swamp of corruption and hypocrisy.

#8 Comment By Sir On August 12, 2015 @ 10:51 am

I don’t exactly see how she got “thrown under the bus.” Neither she nor Fox apologized for the line of questioning. Trump is no longer attacking her verbally – that sounds like diplomacy by Ailes, to me.

#9 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 12, 2015 @ 12:32 pm

Nobody has to be trained to hate the media. Just observant. — RD

This includes Fox News, and those who hate Fox News, right?

Kudos to Engineer Scotty and Professor Woland. I’d still like to put them all in a ring, without gloves, and sell tickets. No, the winner doesn’t get to be president. But the survivors can still make their case to the voters, if they feel up to it.

#10 Comment By Ken Hamilton On August 12, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

I will be so glad when Trump drops out of this presidential race. He is a toxic poison in the American political system.

#11 Comment By Matt On August 12, 2015 @ 1:18 pm

I can’t find it again, but I read an article yesterday which summed up the situation perfectly. The money-quote (and since I can’t find the article, this isn’t an exact quote, but pretty close):

“At the debate, Fox News emptied a clip into Donald Trump, and he came through without a scratch.”

#12 Comment By Junior On August 12, 2015 @ 1:59 pm

“What kind of credibility will Fox News’s moderators have in future debates?”

WOW! I’m sorry Mr. Dreher, but this statement screams that you really have no idea what’s going on in the Zeitgeist. I also am no big fan of FOX but I watch it occasionally along with MSNBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC, and CNN to try and get all sides of the issues and then try to determine the truth which usually lies somewhere in the middle. You don’t have to agree with them but you should at LEAST know what they have to say.

I wonder where it is that you DO get your news from? If it’s only from printed press then I hope that you don’t limit yourself to only the American Press.

#13 Comment By Grumpy Realist On August 12, 2015 @ 2:31 pm

Welcome to what happens when you feed the id rather than confronting it.

It’s infotainment, baby, with the result that the Hot Chick just has to learn how to deal with death threats because after all, it’s business…

I hope Megyn can find a news organization that will back her up and not throw her overboard to feed the Sharks.

#14 Comment By DeepSouthPopulist On August 12, 2015 @ 3:37 pm

[5]

What really stands out in the numbers is how broad Trump’s support is –

Leads with moderates (25%)

Leads with ‘somewhat conservative’ voters (23%)

Leads with ‘very conservative’ voters (20%)

Has a very strong with men (30%)

Leads with women too at 16%

Strong with young voters (32%)

Leads with middle aged voters (21%)

Leads seniors (17%).

Every group we track he has the lead with on this poll.

#15 Comment By Barry On August 12, 2015 @ 3:38 pm

“Sort of like The New York Times changing a major scoop because it upset Hillary Rodham Clinton?”

Where what actually happened was that their facts were wrong, and their sources were, uh – uknown?

#16 Comment By Jesse Ewiak On August 12, 2015 @ 5:36 pm

“[NFR: Do you really want to live in a world in which a government sues a media outlet for its reporting? I bet you do. — RD]”

I have zero concept that a television program stating that it’s news should in fact, not say things that are untrue and that anybody, man, woman, child, corporation, or government, should be able to sue for redress if a “news program” in fact, reports something that isn’t news and could cause harm to that person, organization, or agency.

#17 Comment By Jesse Ewiak On August 12, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

Should be “I have zero problem with the concept”, not I have zero concept, however funny that may be.

#18 Comment By panda On August 12, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

“Not only is that demographic currently destroying a midwest suburb, it has brought its behavior a step from the Presidency.

Yes. When we think about the Obama White House, we think about a den of iniquity with everybody drinking malt liquor and shooting at each other.

[Like seriously, given that the Obama administration had zero sex/drugs/indecent behavior scandals in the six years before this incident, how much relief do you think M_Young felt that now, finally, he can demonstrate that BO brought the ghetto to the White House?]

#19 Comment By panda On August 12, 2015 @ 5:55 pm

” They already lost all of their credibility when someone called in a hit job on Trump for the first debate. Even if you think the questions were fine (and not premised on out of context quotes), and had any relevance at all, the other candidates were spared the same level of head”

If you call someone an ugly pig, what is the exact context in which that statement is ok? (outside perhaps the hog exhibit in the Iowa state fair- and even that that’s not exactly Iowa polite).

#20 Comment By Hope On August 12, 2015 @ 5:55 pm

This is such an indicator of where this country has gone. Trump is sucking all the energy out of the room, he has no answers, and we are all obsessively looking what he’ll do next. I can’t even imagine a world with a President Trump…he has NO idea how to govern. Honestly, he’s an entrepenuer. By definition he’s never had to compromise with anyone.

Megan Kelly was well within the realm of her job to ask him those questions, and the fact that Roger Ailes capitulated tells us all we need to know about Fox News. As if we needed this proof.

The sorry thing is the upcoming election. Who do we have that can lead this country? It’s a real mess. And I’m guessing it will come down to Jeb & Hillary. What a sorry choice. Ugh.

#21 Comment By Adam On August 12, 2015 @ 6:10 pm

Every time I see Megyn Kelly the lyrics to Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” get stuck in my head. I am absolutely loving the love/hate affair going on. It’s good television, way better than the The Apprentice.

#22 Comment By Judith Sylvester On August 12, 2015 @ 6:11 pm

DRK:”It’s cute that anyone thought that Fox News was ever a credible news source, or that Megyn Kelly was a journalist, to begin with.”

Yep. The 3 stooges: Fox News, Donald Trump, and Megyn Kelly.

#23 Comment By panda On August 12, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

“BTW, speaking of the media, Barvetta Singletary, the white house aid that could (but won’t) be charged with attempted murder of an off duty white house cop, shows up exactly zero times on the LA Times website and once, in a 4 short paragraph, maybe 150 word piece at the New York times.

Singletary wasn’t some low paid clerk in the mailroom. Her title was ‘Special Assistant to the President and Legislative Affairs Liason’, for which she pulled down 126,500 dollars, 80% higher than the average white house salary.”

It’s almost as though there is a long-standing convention of treating people who work for the government but are not part of the political process as private individuals. [REmember the name of the chief of staff to a senior GOP senator that was caught with child pornography? No, and you shouldn’t , because he was not an elected official].

#24 Comment By hari.seldon On August 12, 2015 @ 7:09 pm

[NFR: Do you really want to live in a world in which a government sues a media outlet for its reporting? I bet you do. — RD]

Depends…

If a “News” outlet writes an unsourced story that says that areas of Midtown Manhattan are a no go zones in which you are putting your life on the line if you go in it and in which the police are afraid to go in and will not help/rescue you, then yes the city of New York is well within it’s rights to sue you for defamation and slander.

[NFR: You cannot defame or slander a metropolis, at least not in a legal sense. I cannot believe you would think it worthwhile to extend the reach of libel law to allow for that sort of thing. The Tourism Commissions and Chambers of Commerce would clog the courts with lawsuits against the media. — RD]

#25 Comment By Cascade Joe On August 12, 2015 @ 9:16 pm

M_Young .. Barvetta Singletary, after a brief sexual encounter with him, shot at her boyfriend at point blank range for having a second girlfriend. Had she really been serious about it…

This was not covered by the media, except for CNN, Fox, NBC, Daily Mail, USA Today, NY Daily News, …

Sounds like a case for Judge Judy.

#26 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 12, 2015 @ 10:16 pm

DSP’s detailed numbers confirm what I had suspected. Trump has a hard core following across several opinion demographics, but little change of enlarging it beyond the 16-23 percent range. What his “lead” shows is how pathetic the other Republican wannabes are, and how splintered they are.

Now, those who want either private parties or the government to sue for dubious observations in the press have forgotten two important cases:

The Crown v. John Peter Zenger
Times v. Sullivan

The first has been blown up in American hagiography to more than it was, and its true that the jury ignored a judicial ruling by finding that Zenger’s statements were truthful, therefore not libel, contrary to established British law. I understand that hari.seldon and others want statements of doubtful truth to be actionable, not true statements that embarrass the government.

But, there is almost no way to legislate that only those who actually lied will be subject to suit or prosecution. Which brings us to the second case. A half page ad had been printed in the New York Times, to raise funds to defend Martin Luther King, Jr. against an Alabama perjury indictment. An Alabama official filed suit, charging he had been “libeled.” The ultimate outcome was that for a public official to establish a claim of libel, they had to prove “actual malice,” not a slip over specific facts (like whether Alabama police had arrested King four times or seven times).

Bottom line: Constitutional protections are jurisdictional. They restrain certain actions because it is more important to have a free and unimpeded public controversy than it is to suppress the inevitable sleazy nonsense that will also be expressed. There is no way to empower the state to suppress alleged deceptions and exaggerations without providing the means to effectively muzzle a good deal that needs to be said. We cannot afford to entrust ANYONE with the power to make such distinctions with sufficient precision and objectivity.

#27 Comment By Austin Rebreh On August 13, 2015 @ 1:26 am

It was obvious to everyone watching the debate with me that the whole event was a way to tear down Donald Trump.

Besides that there were fishy things going on.

For example, here is the candidates that got asked the most questions

Bush
Walker
Rubio.

Trump had 4 less questions than Bush and 3 less than Walker despite being the highest polling candidate. They are trying to make these three the nominee and shaft what the base actually wants.

Why?

Because Trump is dangerous to the establishment. Is he the perfect candidate. Hell no… but it may be the first time in my short life that a candidate not only spoke out on these issues but was winning on them. His message, ‘free trade is not a good deal’, ‘we have an immigration problem’, and ‘these politicians are self-serving.’

#28 Comment By Eamus Catuli On August 13, 2015 @ 2:28 am

I was going to answer the point about governments being able to sue the media, but Siarlys has more than covered it, so I second his entire comment.

#29 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On August 13, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

[Like seriously, given that the Obama administration had zero sex/drugs/indecent behavior scandals in the six years before this incident, how much relief do you think M_Young felt that now, finally, he can demonstrate that BO brought the ghetto to the White House?]

Wait, wat happened? I think I missed this one.

#30 Comment By jay On August 14, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

Rod’s continual bashing of trump is getting old. Finally a candidate to stand up to the establishment and dreher takex their side. So disapointing. The fact that he is defending such a smug and arrogant fox news entertainer (not a journalist) shows just how far off his judgement is.

#31 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 14, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

I simply don’t trust Trump to mean the same thing today that he said yesterday. He impresses me as the quintessential “That was then and this is now” kind of guy. He’d be worse in that respect than Scott Walker. Just don’t trust him, even if he happens to say something I wish I’d said. A stopped clock is right twice a day.

#32 Comment By jay On August 15, 2015 @ 10:09 am

He’s the only candidate talking about the problems of free trade and the only one except for rand, who was critical of the neocon agenda during GW’s term. Even if he doesnt follow through in office, at least there is something to hold him accountable to. All the others are more of the same.

#33 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 15, 2015 @ 3:58 pm

And how has accountability to campaign promises worked with the last dozen presidents or so? Trump is too vapid to even be called a liar when he doesn’t live up to expectations. You may like what you hear, but you have no idea what you are getting.

#34 Comment By Brian L On August 16, 2015 @ 5:08 pm

Trust me this attack on Trump by Megyn goes beyond the blonde bimbo this came from the top of the GOP and Ailes signed it off…Sure hope Trump doesn’t expect Ailes to make good on their agreement, when Trump has a moment of weakness Fox News will go full war on him, he better watch his back and stop being so bombastic he now needs a bit of polish to take those edges off him.. Hope he has good tutors because I actually believe he means the nation well and wants to bring her back to full glory.

#35 Comment By Gene Callahan On August 17, 2015 @ 12:41 am

Mussolini was also praised as someone who would stand up to the establishment.