Media Structures & Regulations

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  • Trump Revokes Washington Post's Press Credentials

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Donald Trump announced on his Facebook page that he’s “revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post” after the publication wrote an article highlighting comments Trump made linking President Obama to the deadly terror attack on an Orlando gay nightclub.

    Trump complained on his Facebook page that the Post wrote a headline stating, "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting.” The Post published a June 13 article noting that “Trump seemed to repeatedly accuse President Obama on Monday of identifying with radicalized Muslims who have carried out terrorist attacks in the United States and being complicit in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend, the worst the country has ever seen.”

    The Trump campaign has repeatedly banned reporters from across the political spectrum from attending Trump events. The campaign has, however, provided credentials to disreputable media like Alex Jones’ Infowars.com and white nationalist radio host James Edwards.

    Trump has waged a war against the media that has gone far beyond the bounds of normal media criticism. Trump has pushed a plan to “open up our libel laws” that's been criticized by First Amendment advocates, threatened to retaliate against media outlets with the power of government agencies, issued scathing personal insults against journalists, and repeatedly sued or threatened to sue media figures over trivialities. 

    UPDATE: In a statementWashington Post executive editor Marty Barron called Trump’s decision “nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished.”

  • ABC Was The Only Broadcast Network To Ignore Report That “Trump Doesn’t Pay His Bills”

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    In June 9 broadcast evening news programs and June 10 morning news programs, ABC was the only broadcast network to ignore a USA Today investigation that found “hundreds of people” who allege that Donald Trump “didn’t pay them for their work.”

    A June 9 USA Today report found that Trump, who “often portrays himself as a savior of the working class” has had at least 60 lawsuits filed accusing him and his businesses of “failing to pay” people “for their work.” From the report:

    Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will "protect your job." But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

    At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

    NBC covered the story during the June 9 edition of Nightly News with Lester Holt and the June 10 edition of Today, while CBS discussed it during the June 10 edition of CBS This Morning.

    The USA Today report noted the irony that Trump’s claims “he will bring jobs back to America” while waging legal battles “over small amounts of money that are negligible to the billionaire and his executives -- but devastating to his much-smaller foes,” including contractors, waiters, dishwashers, real estate brokers, and law firms:

    In 2007, for instance, dishwasher Guy Dorcinvil filed a federal lawsuit against Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach, Fla., alleging the club failed to pay time-and-a-half for overtime he worked over three years and the company failed to keep proper time records for employees.

    Mar-a-Lago LLC agreed to pay Dorcinvil $7,500 to settle the case in 2008. The terms of the settlement agreement includes a standard statement that Mar-a-Lago does not admit fault and forbids Dorcinvil or his lawyers from talking about the case, according to court records.

    Developers with histories of not paying contractors are a very small minority of the industry, said Colette Nelson, chief advocacy officer of the American Subcontractors Association. But late or missing payments can be devastating for small businesses and their employees.

  • O'Reilly: It's "Not My Job" To Defend Megyn Kelly From Trump Attacks

    O'Reilly Brushes Off Fox Colleague After She Said She Wished The Popular Host Had Defended Her From Trump's Vicious Attacks

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    Months after Megyn Kelly expressed her disappointment that fellow Fox News host Bill O’Reilly refused to defend her following a string of attacks from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, O’Reilly has responded by stating “It was not my job” to defend Kelly from Trump.

    Donald Trump repeatedly attacked Fox host Megyn Kelly after the August 2015 Fox News primary debate calling her “crazy” and “unwatchable.” Trump faced widespread criticism after his attacks by journalists and media outlets, including a statement criticizing Trump allegedly written by Fox CEO Roger Ailes.

    But Fox host Bill O’Reilly, remained silent throughout the controversy, instead pleading with Trump not to pull out of the next Fox News GOP primary debate.

    In a March interview for More magazine, Kelly spoke out about the January interview O’Reilly held with Trump in which Trump spoke about having “zero respect” for Kelly and described her as “highly overrated.” Kelly told the magazine, “I do wish that O’Reilly had defended me more in his interview with Trump. I would have defended him more.” Trump responded to Kelly’s critique by describing her as “crazy” and criticizing her “bad show”:

     

    On June 8, Talking Points Memo noted that O'Reilly had broken his silence on the Trump and Kelly feud, declaring "It was not my job" to defend Kelly from Trump's attacks:

    Fox News' Bill O’Reilly doesn’t think it was his “job” to defend his colleague Megyn Kelly from a barrage of attacks by presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

    “It was not my job to intrude on the Fox News Channel hierarchy, which was handling the controversy,” O’Reilly said in a Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday. “Why am I going to get in the middle of that? [Chairman] Roger Ailes is a genius at handling this stuff. I am not going to make his life harder by putting my big mouth in the middle of this thing.”

    […]

    Trump, who had spent months calling Kelly a “bimbo,” accelerated his attacks after Kelly's interview with More was published, tweeting that she was “crazy” and “highly overrated.”

    O’Reilly’s comments come amidst reports of a brewing feud between Kelly and O’Reilly.  A February report from CNN’s Brian Stelter on the “animosity between O’Reilly and Kelly” cited O’Reilly’s Trump interview as a visible example of the “strained relationship.” More recently, Kelly blasted “pundits” demanding the judge in the Trump U. case step down after Trump attacked the judge for being Latino. Her comments came immediately after O’Reilly called for the judge to recuse himself.

  • Vox’s German Lopez: Media Need To Call Trump’s “Clear Racism” Like It Is

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Vox’s German Lopez criticized the media for being “too scared” to call out Donald Trump as “blatantly racist,” following his assertion that the judge overseeing the civil case against Trump University has a conflict of interest because of his Hispanic heritage.

    Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal that Judge Gonzalo Curiel wasn’t qualified to oversee the Trump University case due to his “Mexican heritage.” Trump’s criticism of the judge alarmed legal experts, with some scholars saying it “threatened the rule of law.” The Republican presidential candidate’s remarks were followed by the endorsement of Speaker Paul Ryan, which is being interpreted by some as the GOP’s embracement of Trump’s racist politics and conspiracy theories.

    Lopez criticized media’s coverage of Trump’s remarks, saying they used “weasel words” like “racially charged” to “describe racism,” and asked  “What would it take for them to finally call Trump or his remarks just plainly racist?” 

    Lopez highlighted the lack of diversity in the media and explained it can often lead to inaccuracies in reporting. From German Lopez’s June 3 Vox article:

    Donald Trump, the actual Republican candidate for president, now endorsed by his party leaders, openly said he wants to exclude someone from a government job because of his race and ethnicity.

    As the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, Trump said he wants to disqualify the federal judge overseeing the Trump University case because of his "Mexican heritage" and membership in a Latino lawyers association[.]

    [...]

    This is pure racism. There's no subtlety, no dog whistle, no coded language.

    [...]

    Reading this, it's hard for me, a Hispanic American, to avoid feeling a little personally insulted. This suggests that Trump would probably dismiss my opinion — indeed, this article — because of my name. Yet millions of Americans — and a major political party — want him to be president, despite his clear racism.

    Maybe the media plays a role here. After all, instead of calling it like it is, CBS News,MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times have called Trump's comments about Curiel "racially charged" and "racially tinged," the weasel words the media typically uses to describe racism. It makes one wonder: What would it take for them to finally call Trump or his remarks just plainly racist? If claiming a qualified, vetted judge shouldn't be able to do his job because of his race and ethnicity isn't racist, then what the hell is?

    Perhaps the problem is Hispanic people are vastly underrepresented in media. As the journalism organization ASNE found, racial minorities make up less than 13 percent of the field — despite making up about 38 percent of the total US population. That might make it harder for a lot of journalists to see just how racist Trump's remarks are.

    If that's the case, maybe it would be helpful for the predominant white journalists in the field to consider: If President Barack Obama or President Marco Rubio said all white people should be banned from acting as judge in a court case against them, would that be considered racist? And how is that any different from what Trump is doing?

    There should be no doubt about it now: Donald Trump is racist. He wants to exclude people from government jobs because of their race and ethnicity. That is the literal definition of racism. The media shouldn't shy away from pointing that out, and the people supporting Trump should know that's exactly what they're supporting.