Media outlets have described Hillary Clinton's wealth and the speaking fees she has earned as a "potentially serious political problem" and a "potential political liability." Will they describe the financial dealings of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush the same way now that he is exploring a presidential run? And will they do in-depth reporting on the controversial business deals Bush has been involved in?
Buzzfeed reported that the emails, released after a hacker group broke in to Sony's computer systems, detailed a series of exchanges between Dowd, Pascal, and Pascal's husband Bernard Weinraub, a former Times reporter, for a March 2014 column Dowd was writing about the declining percentage of women in the film industry.
The emails show Dowd promising Pascal she "would make sure you look great" and Weinraub warning Pascal not to tell anyone that he was "seeing the column before its printed." From Buzzfeed:
But the leaked documents show that when Dowd emailed Pascal on March 3 for the column -- which would run online the next night and in print on March 5 -- Dowd told Pascal "i would make sure you look great and we'd check it all and do it properly."
Before Pascal actually interviewed with Dowd for the column, she talked to Weinraub.
"I said the rap that you jus like to make womens films is unfair amnd sexist," Weinraub said in an email to Pascal on March 4. "You made all these "women's movies ===league of their own, 28 days,,,the nora Ephron films...zero dark.... but you also do spifderman... denzel....Jonah hill.....bad teacher etc etc."
Pascal responded, "IM NOT TALKING TO HER IF SHE IS GONNA SLAM ME. PLEASE FIND OUT."
Weinraub assured her, "you cant tell single person that I'm seeing the column before its printed...its not done...no p.r. people or Lynton or anyone should know."
After the column was published later that night, Pascal emailed Dowd, saying "I THOUGHT THE STORY WAS GREAT I HOPE YOUR HAPPY "
Dowd responded: "I hope you're happy! Thanks for helping. Let's do another." Pascal replied, "Your my favorite person so yes" and Dowd finished the conversation with "you're mine! you're amazing"
Dowd denied that she had given anyone an advance look at her column in a statement released to several reporters, as Politico reported:
In an email though, Dowd says she "never showed Bernie the column in advance or promised to show it."
"Bernie is an old friend and the Times' former Hollywood reporter, and he sometimes gives me ideas for entertainment columns. In January, he suggested a column, inspired by a study cited in the L.A. Times, about the state of women in Hollywood. Amy is a friend and I reassured her before our interview that it wasn't an antagonistic piece. She wasn't the focus of the story, nor was Sony," Dowd said. "I emailed with Bernie and talked to him before I wrote the column in March, getting his perspective on the Hollywood old boys' club and the progress of women. But I didn't send him the column beforehand."
The Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture reveals that conservative author Ronald Kessler was "blessed" by the CIA, receiving background information from the agency which he used to push false claims about the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and publishing classified information without triggering a leak investigation.
Earlier today the committee released the executive summary of its report, the result of a five-year investigation of the CIA's detention and interrogation program. According to The Washington Post, the document "renders a strikingly bleak verdict of a program launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, describing levels of brutality, dishonesty and seemingly arbitrary violence that at times brought even agency employees to moments of anguish."
Kessler was once a reporter for mainstream publications but over the past few decades became a right-wing journalist known for his gossipy style. This past year, he authored The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents, one of a number of right-wing books that sought to smear Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The newly released torture report cites Kessler's willingness to promote false claims about the effectiveness of torture as an example of how the CIA's Office of Public Affairs (OPA) "provided unattributed background information on the program to journalists for books, articles, and broadcasts, including when the existence of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program was still classified."
Kessler included such classified information in his book The CIA at War, but internal CIA emails cited by the report reveal that an investigation was never made into these leaks of classified information because OPA "provided assistance with the book" and it "contained no first time disclosure." The agency made the decision to pass on an investigation because CIA cooperation with Kessler had been "blessed" by then-Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet.
The report states that Kessler's book "included inaccurate claims about the effectiveness of CIA interrogations, much of it consistent with the inaccurate information being provided by the CIA to policymakers at that time." According to the report, claims in the book about the effectiveness of CIA interrogations that used torture techniques were false.
For example, the report describes as "incongruent with CIA records" Kessler's claim that the capture of detainee Khallad bin Attash was the "result" of CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the September 11, 2001, attacks. In The CIA at War, Kessler claimed as a result of his interrogation, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "told the CIA about a range of planned attacks - on U.S. convoys in Afghanistan, nightclubs in Dubai, targets in Turkey, and an Israeli embassy in the Middle East." But the torture report says these claims were also "incongruent with CIA records."
Kessler also was used by the CIA to push back on what a CIA officer called "undue credit" given to the FBI for "CIA accomplishments," in a draft of his 2007 book, The Terrorist Watch. Kessler provided the agency with a draft of his book, and met with the CIA Director of Public Affairs Mark Mansfield who said that after the meeting he believed the agency had "made some headway" in making Kessler's book "more balanced than it would have been." After the meeting, the text more closely reflected the CIA's inaccurate claims that several successes in fighting against terrorism could be attributed to "coercive interrogation techniques."
After his meeting with the CIA, Kessler added the statement that members of Congress and the media "have made careers for themselves by belittling and undercutting the efforts of the heroic men and women who are trying to protect us" and "too many Americans are intent on demonizing those who are trying to protect us."
Fox News Sunday ignored a new report from the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee that debunked many of the myths that Fox News has spent the last two years promoting.
On November 21, the Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the September 2012 attacks on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Similar to the many preceding investigations into the attacks -- including the Accountability Review Board and the bipartisan U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- the report found that no stand down order was issued during the attacks, there was no intelligence failure leading up to the attack, and that the talking points the administration used in the days following the attacks were based on the CIA's best assessment at the time.
The November 23 edition of Fox News Sunday did not inform viewers of the report's findings. This stands in stark contrast to Fox's longstanding campaign to promote myths about the attacks.
Fox has been a tireless promoter of nearly every facet of the Benghazi hoax. In the 20 months following the attacks, Fox ran over 1,100 segments on Benghazi and hosted Republicans at a rate of 30:1 over Democrats to discuss the issue. Meanwhile, the network has routinely ignored and downplayed evidence refuting its conspiracy theories.
CNN media critic Brian Stelter noted that other Fox programs only provided cursory coverage of the report on the night of its release and that Fox never mentioned it the following day. According to Stelter (emphasis added):
STELTER: Boy, has Fox News spent a lot of time over the past two years focused on the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, and I mean a lot of time. [...] But when a new Benghazi report came out on Friday, there was hardly a peep, and maybe that's because the report, which was Republican led, it was by the House Intelligence committee, debunks many of the myths that have run rampant on Fox News and in conservative media circles. [...] So I have to wonder: will Fox will stop aggressively pushing its theories about Benghazi? Probably not. With its audience largely in the dark about the latest findings, the myths may, and perhaps will, live on.
On the November 23 edition of Fox News' own MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz noted that it only received "brief" coverage on Fox and that the results of the two-year long investigation "deserved more coverage from all news outlets."
Fox News dropped its coverage of President Obama's speech on immigration in Nevada, switching to an interview with Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is suing the administration over the administration's recently announced immigration actions.
Fox, CNN, and MSNBC all carried the beginning of Obama's speech live. But at 4 p.m. ET, Your World with Neil Cavuto began. After describing the contents of the speech while airing the live video feed of President Obama, Cavuto stated, "as he's talking, I want you to meet the sheriff who's suing" and began to interview Arpaio.
Arpaio announced today that he would be suing the administration, telling a local TV station that, "This is going to open the door. Everybody in Mexico, Central America, thinks they will have a free pass when they come into our country because of what the president is issuing." Arpaio is a prominent birther who was found by state law enforcement agencies to have failed to investigate hundreds of sex crimes and is subject to an independent monitor after a federal judge determined that his office racially profiled Latinos.
CNN and MSNBC both carried the speech to its conclusion.
Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity recently attacked MIT economist Jonathan Gruber for referring to the "stupidity of the American voter," but both have repeatedly derided "low information voters," who they blamed for electing President Obama.
ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was the only one of the three broadcast evening newscasts to ignore the Obama administration's announcement supporting net neutrality. NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News both covered the story.
President Obama issued a statement on Monday asking the Federal Communications Commission to "implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality." Obama asked the FCC to put into effect "bright-line rules" that would prevent Internet providers from blocking access to services, throttling Internet speeds or forcing one service to be prioritized over another. He also asked for providers to have to be more transparent in how their services operate.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote the foreword for a new book from Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano. Napolitano has promoted 9-11 conspiracy theories, attacked President Abraham Lincoln, and defended a former Paul aide with "neo-Confederate" and "pro-secessionist" views.
Napolitano's Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Assault on Civil Liberties is described by publisher Thomas Nelson as "a shocking chronicle of America's descent from a free society to a frightening surveillance state."
In the foreword, Paul writes, "Now President Obama says he just wants to 'balance' liberty and national security. Judge Napolitano succinctly answers President Obama. To Napolitano, it isn't possible to balance rights and security because 'rights and [national security] are essentially and metaphysically so different that they cannot be balanced against each other."
Paul praises Napolitano for "unravel[ing] the labyrinthine assault on civil liberties that has taken place as a side effect of the War on Terror."
He concludes, "Judge Napolitano gets it, and I hope his new book will help the American public to get it; to wake up and mount a defense of our most precious liberties before it's too late."
Fox News' Keith Ablow issued a defiant statement defending his cable news psychoanalysis of President Obama after being condemned by medical experts.
Here is a sample of the type of bizarre and offensive commentary offered by Ablow:
Yesterday the Associated Press reported on criticism of Ablow from other psychiatrists, including the past president of the American Psychiatric Association's statement that "it is shameful and unfortunate that he is given a platform by Fox News or any other media organization."
Medical experts contacted by the Associated Press condemned Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow for his ongoing cable news psychoanalysis of President Obama, his wife, and other figures.