Thursday, November 05, 2015

Some Networks? Really?






It might have been CNN's Brooke Baldwin, NBC's Lester Holt, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, CBS' Scott Pelley,or ABC's David Muir. Salon's Scott Eric Kauffman informs us that on Wednesday, a network television host

lit into GOP hopeful Donald Trump for inaccurately ripping into a CNN reporter who inadequately praised his “huge” crowds.

In an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” Trump complained to Chris Cuomo that correspondent “Sarah Murray didn’t report [his huge crowds] very well, because she never flips the camera to show the lines.”

“I think she’s absolutely terrible,” he added. “Either she’s a very unemotional person or she’s not a very good reporter, one or the other.”

“I don’t know she’s incompetent or doesn’t like me or maybe she’s given instructions from up above,” Trump said. “There’s gotta be an agenda someplace at CNN.”

The host

told guests Howie Kurtz and Dana Perino that she “doesn’t know this reporter really well,” but looked into her coverage of Trump and found that Murray regularly noted the size of the crowds in attendance at his events, even opening one story with “Donald Trump knows how to rally a crowd.... The problem is that unless you say it just the way he wants you to say it, you get hit" and "some networks give him an unfettered arena in which to assault the press, which helps with some voters who don't like reporters or the media."

In fairness, any anchorperson from CNN, MSNBC, CBS, or ABC could legitimately criticize "some networks" for giving Trump "an unfettered arena in which to assault the press."

A television personality, that is, from any network but Fox News. Astonishingly, though, it was Megyn Kelly, a Fox News host.

It was the same Megyn Kelly who had the temerity to ask the candidate in the first presidential debate how, given his description of some women as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” he would "answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?"   The response included "And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that."

Afterward, Business Insider summarized

The developer lashed out at Kelly after the debate. On Twitter, he promoted another tweetcalling the host a "bimbo," and in a series of interviews blasting her, he made a particularly controversial comment that many interpreted as a sexist reference to menstruation.

"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever," Trump said of Kelly during the debate. (Trump later insisted he meant "nose" or "ears"; "Only a deviant would think anything else," he added.)

Relations between Trump, who polls show is the Republican front-runner, and Fox, which has an outsize influence among GOP voters, continued to publicly deteriorate. Kelly evenreportedly received death threats from Trump's supporters. Eventually, Fox News chief Roger Ailes and Trump had a "blunt" conversation that they said resolved their differences.

After the debate, Kelly had boldly gone on vacation but, whatever the blunt conversation between her boss and the candiate, Trump resumed his condemnation of the host when she returned.  He sent out again the tweet referring to her as a "bimbo," and sent out two other tweets: "Megyn needs to go back on vacation. What a waste of an hour on Fox" and "Kelly File was much better without Megyn Kelly" (famous excerpt from interview of the candidate, below).

Donald Trump is back on GOP TV.  Notwithstanding the show of a truce, Roger Ailes essentially rolled over like a dog, no doubt because it was commercially wise to do so.  And now Megyn Kelly claims of Trump "some networks give him an unfettered arena to assault the press."

Look around you, Kelly. That network, currently the most powerful one in news, is your own. And you still work there, despite being extremely marketable, with a strong resume and good looks. (This is television, folks.)

Remaining at the network which tolerates the attacks against one of its prime on-air personalities might be a wise career decision for Megyn Kelly. But it shouldn't blind us to the reality that the "truce" between that network and Donald Trump has demonstrated that Fox News will tolerate extraordinary behavior from a popular Republican.















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