Media Structures & Regulations

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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.

  • Hannity Praises Trump For Using A Teleprompter After Years Of Demonizing Obama For Using Them

    Sean Hannity: “I Would Argue He Found The Secret Sauce, And He’s Still Trump Being Trump”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Sean Hannity hosted Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway to praise Donald Trump’s use of a teleprompter during a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, despite Hannity’s past obsession with criticizing President Barack Obama’s use of a teleprompter.

    Hannity has spent years obsessively attacking President Obama’s use of a teleprompter to give speeches. He has claimed that Obama “has a teleprompter on each side of the bed when he goes to sleep every night, if he doesn’t actually put it in the bed” adding “most Americans have figured out that you take away that teleprompter, he’s in trouble.”

    Speaking to Conway, Hannity declared, “I like [Trump] on prompter myself, my own personal preference,” adding Trump’s usage of a teleprompter indicated “he found the secret sauce, and he’s still Trump being Trump”:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let me ask you this. He gave two speeches, this is what I -- this is what I think is the secret sauce.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Yes.

    HANNITY: He only talked about Hillary and Obama, he was on prompter. I like him on prompter myself, my own personal preference. But he stayed on a very powerful Donald Trump message. It was totally him, and he made very powerful points, but he outlined the failures and offered solutions.

  • ABC's World News Tonight Ignores Stephen Bannon’s Extremism

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    ABC’s World News Tonight ignored Steve Bannon’s long history of extremism and racism in their report on the Breitbart News CEO’s new job as chief executive for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.  

    ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir characterized Bannon as “a onetime Goldman Sachs banker and film director, stepping down from his current job as head of ultra-conservative Breitbart News,” reporting Bannon had previously attempted to make sure Trump “would not be swayed by Republican leaders calling for a more moderate tone”:
     

    TOM LLAMAS: Today, at Trump Tower, cameras ushered in for what looked a lot like a Trump cabinet meeting. Donald Trump surrounded by his top advisers, and now, some fresh faces. There, at the end of the table, his new campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, and new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. Trump not saying much during this photo op, but his actions today, that campaign shakeup, sends a clear message: Trump is going back to his way of doing things. 

    [...]

    Bannon, a onetime Goldman Sachs banker and film director, stepping down from his current job as head of ultra-conservative Breitbart News. He's never worked on a campaign, but today, the Trump team touting in a press release a magazine article calling him "The Most Dangerous Political Operative In America." Trump, a guest on Bannon's radio show in May, Bannon making sure the candidate would not be swayed by Republican leaders calling for a more moderate tone.

    In contrast to ABC’s reporting, both CBSEvening News with Scott Pelley and NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt highlighted Bannon’s history of anti-immigrant and nationalist rhetoric. 

     

  • The Trump Sycophants Praising His Hiring Of Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon As Campaign CEO

    ››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN

    Trump’s staunchest supporters called the hiring of Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon as the new chief executive for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign “an inspired choice” and “fantastic news” after the move was reported. Elsewhere, the decision has been called “insanity,” with former Breitbart News employees disparaging the relationship between Trump and Breitbart News as “pathetic and disgusting.”

  • “Insanity”: Media Appalled After Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart Executive And Political Commentator

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    Media figures across the political spectrum expressed shock after reports that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hired Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon and political commentator Kellyanne Conway to head his campaign. Media said the hire makes the relationship between Trump and Breitbart “official” and labeled the move “insanity.”

  • Latino Advocacy Organization Calls Out Trump For Denying Access To Hispanic Media

    Trump Has Ignored Hispanic Media For Over A Year

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Latino Victory, an organization that advocates for Latino representation in politics, launched an online petition calling out Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for ignoring Hispanic media, highlighting that “Since June 2015, the most interaction Trump has had with Hispanic media has been to deny them access and attack them.”

    The petition asks Trump to “give Hispanic news organizations the respect they deserve” and pointed out that, while he’s ignored Hispanic media, “In June, he spent over three hours being interviewed by Fox News.” The most prominent anchors in Hispanic media -- Telemundo’s José Díaz-Balart and Univision’s Jorge Ramos -- have issued multiple interview requests that Trump has continued to ignore, deepening his disconnect with Latino audiences.

    Trump responded to Ramos’ first request by making the journalist’s personal information, including his phone number, public, and on another occasion by sending him a “personal” letter containing a campaign bumper sticker and a donation request. In addition, the candidate has shut down Diaz-Balart at a press conference, had Ramos ejected from another presser by security personnel, and denied press credentials to Univision correspondent Lourdes del Río.

    Trump has a record of lashing out at media that features critical coverage of him: he revoked The Washington Post’s press credentials and threatened to do the same to The New York Times, saying the Times “is going to hell.” Trump and his supporters have also suggested they might use government power to retaliate against media. More than one hundred Univision journalists signed on to an open letter to Trump criticizing his threats to the free press -- which reflect a worrying trend in Latin America -- and decrying his practice of “obstruct[ing] coverage by denying press organizations access to campaign events.”

    Trump has recently retreated to Fox News, a network that houses his defenders and sycophants.

  • A NY Times Article Highlighted Trump’s Campaign Struggles, So He Responded By Threatening The Free Press

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump threatened to revoke The New York Times’ press credentials after the Times suggested “his approach seems to be sputtering” and that the campaign's "effort to save Mr. Trump from himself has plainly failed.” Trump’s threat, which came after the candidate said the Times “is going to hell,” is only the latest of Trump’s now-routine attacks on the media.

    An August 13 rally in Fairfield, CT, -- during which Trump also leveled disparaging remarks at CNN -- was described by ABC’s John Santucci as a “bash the media event for Trump.” Trump’s tirade against the media was reportedly triggered by a New York Times piece that highlighted the Trump campaign’s “failing mission to tame Donald Trump’s tongue.” In the August 13 article, the Times reported on efforts by Trump’s advisers to make him “stick to a teleprompter and end his freestyle digressions and insults, like his repeated attacks on a Hispanic federal judge.” According to the Times, “nearly two months later, the effort … plainly failed,” and his advisers reportedly secured his agreement to “get on track” again, just hours before his “explosive comment about ‘Second Amendment people’ taking action” if he loses:

    Joined by his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, a cluster of Mr. Trump’s confidants pleaded with him to make that day — June 20 — a turning point.

    He would have to stick to a teleprompter and end his freestyle digressions and insults, like his repeated attacks on a Hispanic federal judge.

    [...]

    Mr. Trump bowed to his team’s entreaties, according to four people with detailed knowledge of the meeting, who described it on the condition of anonymity. It was time, he agreed, to get on track.

    Nearly two months later, the effort to save Mr. Trump from himself has plainly failed. He has repeatedly signaled to his advisers and allies his willingness to change and adapt, but has grown only more volatile and prone to provocation since then, clashing with a Gold Star family, making comments that have been seen as inciting violence and linking his political opponents to terrorism.

    [...]

    Mr. Trump’s advisers believe he is nearly out of time to right his campaign. On Tuesday, hours before his explosive comment about “Second Amendment people” taking action if Mrs. Clinton is elected, his brain trust reassembled again at Trump Tower in a reprise of their stern meeting in June.

    [...]

    Mr. Trump, people briefed on the meeting said, digested the advice and responded receptively.

    It was time, he agreed, to get on track.

    Trump continued his anti-media tirade at the CT rally with a series of tweets on August 14, doubling down on his attacks against the Times, denying that he told advisers that he would change, and claiming the “disgusting and corrupt media” doesn’t cover him honestly. He also justified his threats against a free press by claiming, “It is not ‘freedom of the press’ when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false”:

    If Trump goes through with revoking the Times’ credentials, the paper would join The Washington Post and many other outlets he has blacklisted from covering his events. Trump’s “war against the First Amendment” includes plans to “open up our libel laws” and threats of using governmental power to retaliate against media outlets -- something that the Post’s executive editor Marty Baron said in May reminded him of “Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.”

    Trump’s rhetoric against the media and his practice of singling out journalists by by name to attack them personally and publicly has already had dangerous consequences: MSNBC’s Katy Tur had to be escorted to her car by the Secret Service after Trump supporters verbally harassed her at a rally in December. Many other journalists assigned to cover the Trump campaign say they’ve been targeted and verbally attacked during the nominee’s rallies where his supporters have followed Trump’s lead, telling them they “hate” them and called them “liars” and "traitor[s]."