On Fox News, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky calls out Fox's hypocrisy in downplaying Trump-Russia stories
Tomasky: "If President Hillary Clinton had fired an FBI director who was conducting a probe into her campaign, I think that on this network and other some conservative media outlets there'd be a big hue and cry about it"
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From the September 3 edition of Fox News' MediaBuzz:
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HOWARD KURTZ (HOST): Even as much of Houston was first being submerged by the catastrophic flooding, MSNBC, among others, focused on a Washington Post report about Russia. Speaking of Russia, the story said that during the campaign Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen had written to Vladimir Putin's spokesman to try to revive a stalled proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The New York Times obtained an email from Russian-American businessman and Trump associate Felix Sater telling Cohen, "Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this." But the effort went nowhere.
Mollie Hemingway, Trump's personal lawyer involved, the email about "help elect our boy president." Legitimate story?
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Well it's a fine story to cover. Again, the question is how much to cover. I saw someone say something like, "What more proof do we need of a secret Trump and Russia connection?" And I'm thinking, how about any proof? How about anything that actually leads us to anything substantive? Even this story, which is about people making claims about making someone president and getting deals done. The deal never happened, there is still no evidence of any collusion. And so a lot of these stories -- and the emphasis, and the number of stories that we've seen -- make it seem more like we have people who are unwilling to accept a legitimate election, rather than much meat to an actual Russia story.
KURTZ: Michael, not only did the deal never happen but the Trump campaign folks were so non-wired with the Kremlin that Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer, just sent his email to like a general press inbox and got no response. But at the same time, the president was -- candidate Donald Trump was talking about Russia and Putin on the campaign trail while his people were really trying to do a deal with Moscow. So, your take on the importance of the story?
MICHAEL TOMASKY: It's a very important story. Of course it's an important story. And, you know, just flip it. If President Hillary Clinton had fired an FBI director who was conducting a probe into her campaign, I think that on this network and other some conservative media outlets there'd be a big hue and cry about it. And so, I think it's totally reasonable that it's a big story. Every single story isn't a big story. That deal didn't happen, that particular Cohen thing didn't happen, but it's not as if the media has to wait until it has a smoking gun in its hand to write news. I mean, if news pops up, write it.