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  • NY Times Reports Roger Ailes Is Making Leadership And Advertising Decisions For Trump Campaign

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times reported that Roger Ailes, former chairman and CEO of Fox News, has assumed an advisory role in the Trump campaign, successfully urging Trump to change his campaign’s leadership, and offered guidance on Trump’s television campaign ads.

    While the Trump campaign previously denied Ailes’ advisory role, the Times reports that Trump convened a group “of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway, Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News Chairman, and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart news.” The report noted that during the meeting, Ailes “urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership.” The next Tuesday, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was replaced by Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway:

    It was an article in The New York Times last weekend — about frequent but frustrated efforts by Mr. Trump’s top advisers to curtail his pugilistic instincts — that set off the series of events leading to Mr. Manafort’s departure. On Saturday, Mr. Trump raged at Mr. Manafort, holding him responsible for the article.

    On Sunday, Mr. Trump hastily convened a meeting of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway; Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chairman; and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News, a conservative website. Mr. Manafort was not present.

    Mr. Ailes urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership, according to a Republican briefed on the meeting. A former Republican strategist and ad man who was friends with Mr. Trump long before his ouster, Mr. Ailes had reviewed some of the initial television commercials Mr. Manafort had overseen and told Mr. Trump in blunt terms that they were lackluster.

    Only on Tuesday, the eve of its announcement, was Mr. Manafort informed of the campaign’s impending shake-up: Ms. Conway would become campaign manager, and Mr. Bannon would become the campaign’s chief executive.

  • Right-Wing Media Sideline Security Concerns To Compare Obama’s Louisiana Flooding Response To Hurricane Katrina

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Right-wing media figures have compared President Obama’s response to the historic flooding in Louisiana to the federal response to Hurricane Katrina under President George W. Bush, while ignoring the governor of Louisiana’s concerns that a presidential visit in the midst of a massive disaster response could hinder authorities’ efforts to save lives.

  • Why Is C-SPAN Giving Roger Stone A Platform To Peddle Conspiracy Theories?

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    C-SPAN is set to air a Newsmakers interview with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone that gives Stone a friendly platform to promote Trump’s candidacy and float his conspiracy theory that the election may be “rigged” in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

    C-SPAN is elevating Stone despite his long history of pushing conspiracy theories and making incendiary comments. In just the past two weeks, Stone has alleged that the Clintons orchestrated the recent murders of several people and claimed that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a “terrorist agent” who married a Jewish man (Anthony Weiner) as “cover.”

    Wall Street Journal reporter Monica Langley, Politico’s Alex Isenstadt, and C-SPAN host Greta Wodele Brawner spoke to Stone on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers in an interview that C-SPAN posted online ahead of its August 21 airing.

    In the course of the interview, the journalists asked Stone about several issues surrounding the campaign, including campaign strategy, Trump’s approach toward the presidential debates, the candidate’s leadership style, and Stone’s repeated criticism of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

    Langley asked Stone, “One thing that Trump and you have alleged frequently is that this election could be ‘rigged.’ Why do you say that, and do you think that’s a dangerous thing to be saying for a democracy?” Stone responded, “Actually, it’s a dangerous thing to not be saying.” He then suggested that polls are currently being intentionally “inflate[d]” to favor Clinton in order to lay the groundwork for electronic voting machines to be rigged to “reflect that outcome.” After Stone proffered his conspiracy theory, the questioners just shifted to discussing recent changes in Trump’s campaign staff.  

    Stone’s other conspiracy theories were not referenced at all. Along with his claim that the Clintons are responsible for multiple murders (including John F. Kennedy, Jr.), he has argued that Lyndon Johnson had John F. Kennedy killed, and that the Bush family tried to have President Ronald Reagan assassinated.

    Newsmakers also ignored the series of racist and sexist tweets that spurred CNN and MSNBC to ban Stone from appearing on air. The interviewers also did not bring up his tweets advocating the execution of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

  • Right-Wing Media Lambaste Obama For Not Visiting Flooded Louisiana, Despite Governor’s Request That He Not Come


    Right-wing media are criticizing President Obama for not visiting Louisiana following widespread flooding, saying “the feeling is, does [Obama] really even … care” and attacking him for not ending his “golfing vacation,” ignoring the fact that Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has publicly requested that Obama not visit due to fear it would drain state resources.

  • Manafort Departure Leaves Roger Stone With Egg On His Face

    Stone On Wednesday: “Manafort’s Not Going Anywhere”

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Roger Stone, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s longtime friend and adviser, repeatedly lashed out at media outlets for reporting that recent campaign hires amounted to a “shake-up” that might have an impact on chairman Paul Manafort’s role with the campaign. Stone said earlier this week that “Manafort’s not going anywhere," but Manafort, who is Stone’s friend and former business partner, announced his resignation from the campaign this morning.

    On Wednesday, the Trump campaign announced that Steve Bannon had been hired as the campaign CEO and Kellyanne Conway would take on the role of campaign manager. Numerous media outlets reported on the move as a “shake-up” of the campaign’s leadership

    The New York Times reported of Manafort's resignation:

    Mr. Manafort left nearly a week after a New York Times report about problems within the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign helped precipitate a leadership shake-up. His departure reflects repeated efforts to steady a campaign that has been frequently roiled by the unpredictable behavior of its tempestuous first-time candidate.

    Mr. Manafort was also dogged by reports about secretive efforts he made to help the former pro-Russian government in Ukraine, where he has worked on and off over several years.

    Prior to Manafort’s departure, Stone was lashing out at media outlets like The New York Times for describing the new hires as a “shake-up,” claiming that reporters were being spun by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. 

    For example, in an appearance on WIOD’s Fernand Amandi Show on Wednesday, Stone said that claims that Manafort had been demoted “may be the Corey Lewandowski spin, but it’s just not accurate. Manafort’s not going anywhere. Spoke to him this morning, he’s very pleased with this expansion.”

    On Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg Show, Stone said, “The mainstream media interpretation that this is somehow a demotion for Paul Manafort -- that was actually removed from the later editions of the New York Times story because it isn’t true. I recognize that the ousted and now disgraced campaign manager Corey Lewandowski – really an advance man – continues to spin this. But I don’t understand why he thinks that is helpful to the campaign.”

    After calling Lewandowski a “loser,” who was replaced by “an adult,” Stone added, “I see this as an expansion of the campaign. I don’t think anybody was demoted, and it’s not a ‘shake-up’ because shake-up means that someone lost their job, and no one has lost their job. The team remains intact. [Paul] Manafort, [Tony] Fabrizio, [Kellyanne] Conway, [Steve] Bannon. This is an all-star lineup.”

    Appearing on The Alex Jones Show, Stone said Bannon was “not replacing Paul Manafort,” adding, “This isn’t a shake-up, it’s an expansion.” Jones agreed and said Bannon was “augmenting things.” After news of Manafort’s departure broke, Stone reportedly told Mic, “There is an easy explanation for this: Manafort became concerned that the contrived and unfounded attacks by him, all peddled by the Clinton spin machine, would become a distraction and fuel the whole Russia-Trump-Putin-Manafort narrative of the Clintons.” He added, "Manafort did what Corey Lewandowski should have done when he was accused of manhandling a woman: He stepped aside. That's a pro."

  • Trump's Non-Apology Is Being Spun As His Latest Presidential Pivot

    ››› ››› NINA MAST

    Media again hyped a “pivot” and a “new tone” for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after he said in a speech read off of a teleprompter that he “regret[ed]” “sometimes … say[ing] the wrong thing” and using rhetoric that “may have caused personal pain.” Trump gave the speech hours after his spokesperson suggested that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton might have a language disorder caused by brain damage.

  • Every Morning Show Except CBS’ Failed To Cover The New Allegations Against Paul Manafort

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    CBS This Morning was the only network or cable morning news show to detail new reports on Paul Manafort’s work in support of Ukraine’s previous pro-Russian government. Several print and digital outlets had produced devastating reports that Manafort -- former campaign chairman for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump -- received potentially illegal payments, that he worked to influence U.S. opinion of the pro-Russian Ukrainian government, and that he helped set up protests against NATO troops including U.S. service members.