tv Media Buzz FOX News June 26, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
project and inauguration platform work completed ahead of schedule. that is it for today. have a great week. we will see next "fox news sunday". "mediabuzz" with howie kurtz. "mediabuzz" with howie howie: sean spicer on president trump finally admitting he had no secret tapes. whether televised press briefings are in jeopardy. >> we'll never be intimidated by the dishonest media corporations who will say anything and do anything to get people to watch their screens or to get people to buy their failing capes. >> was it bluster? was it intimidation. the desire to pressure comey to be as feutful as possible?
either way the plan seems to have backfired. >> he runs his presidency like a reality show. it's his twisted view of the world and everyone in it that made him tweet that james comey should hope there are no tapes. >> to say he lied here is a lie. he never said i have tapes. howie: news outlets pouncing on the controversial bill to replace obamacare. some of the media are targeting nancy pelosi. is the press making her a scapegoat? the uber ceo forced to resign.
i'm howard kurtz and this is "media buzz." with tapes and briefings in the news i spoke with the president's press secretary. the media are on fire over the president saying he doesn't have secret tapes of james comey. when you said friday the president was trying to enable that the truth should come out, by raising that prospect he insinuated something that wasn't true. sean: he said i hope. he said clearly on three occasions. he said there was no obstruction and he was right. having director comey admit it
under oath in testimony proves the president was right. howie: you said with some justification that the media spends too much time covering the russian investigation. sean: other networks were insisting that comey would come to the hearing and undermine the president. the exact opposite happened. comey came and admitted on three separate occasions he told him he wasn't under investigation. howie: isn't that the kind of distraction the white house says it wants to avoid. sean: we want to cover the president's policies and agenda. when you have media falsely implying something that's not true, it allows us to get to the
issues and agenda that the president is fighting for. howie: how do you reconcile that he had a rose garden ceremony for the more stringent house bill. sean: the president made it clear from the beginning thate wants a bill with heart -- that he wants a bill with heart. he knows obamacare is dead. it's not serving the american people and he has the opportunity to deliver on the promise made to the american people 10 years ago. it gives people that peace of mind. howie: you have been criticized for holding fewer briefings. one of the four briefings was held on camera.
is the president so frustrated he's trying to shrink the number? sean: we have held a briefing every day in some way, shape or form. going back on the days the president travels. howie: i'm not counting that. sean: with the exception of the day when there was a presidential briefing. we had a briefing every day. howie: i understand business gets done with off-camera gaggles. but when you have them that's not allowing the audio to be record. sean: we allowed the audio to be used. a couple days ago when we laid down ground rules. networks like cnn aired it anyway. so we had to make sure everyone
is on the same page. we have allowed audio to come in and use it. when you look at the last couple gaggles they called them. they have been substantive. friday the president gave a substantive speech on veteran accountability. he's going to help so many veterans get the care they need and the accountability from the workforce in washington. when the president speaks the press secretary doesn't try to go in a different direction. howie: jim acosta said the briefings are useless, why should reporters bother attending. sean: it's sad he believes if it doesn't occur on tv. you look at the number of questions asked over and over
again just so the reporter can get a clip of themselves yelling at someone. there is a mix. cameras are fine and there is an opportunity to have that. but on days when the president is speaking you can have a substantive engagement on policy issues. to suggest if it's not on television it's nonsensical. we engage with the press corps very robustly from early in the morning to late at night. the briefing is one small part of what this staff does. you have taken some heat for saying i haven't had the chance to ask the president whether he believe russian hacking had an impact on the election. sean: the president made comments in january where he
said it was probably russia and we had to safe guard integrity of our electoral system. i hadn't asked him since he made his initial comments. i think it's my job to make sure to the best ability i have to represent the president's thinking. if i haven't spoken to him recently about an issue it would be irresponsible for me to go out and say this is what he thinks. my job is to go in and say we have these questions, can you answer. so i updated the press corps. but the alternative is i say something i don't know is current thinking. that would not be right. it would be irresponsible. he's the president of the united states, my job is to make sure i accurately in a timely manner reflect his thinking. if i don't have the best information at hand, i shouldn't
comment. howie: several news organizations are reporting you may be moving into a management role. but having some scars, are you weary of the televised combat? sean: it's an honor and privilege to have this job and do this on behalf of the president of the united states. what i like is doing my part to help advance the president's agenda. i think he's fighting hard every day. if i can help amplify his message i will do that. howie: special election in georgia, the media said it was a referendum on trump. sean: i don't think it existed. for the fourth time in a row they lost a special election and for a fourth time in a row, the
second it was called they stopped talking about it. they had what they called four referendums on trump and he succeeded four times. he's 4-0. if that's a referendum, then we'll take it. howie: in a subtle protest friday, cnn sent a sketch artist to the off-camera briefing just in case you had no idea what it looked like. here is the rendering by the coach office. those pictures were also bought by fox news. shannon pettypiece is with us. is the move toward more off-camera gaggles positive or negative in your view. shannon: just as a reporter in the room this week there was a noticeably different tone in the
room not having the cameras there friday. i think it cooled the temperature it was more relaxed with sean. it didn't have anything to do with the public's right to know. but i think it had an effect on the mood, and i think that's what the white house was going for. howie: you do see some value in that. when we come back, our panel weighs in. cnn retracts a story about a top trump advisor you know what's awesome?
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governmental tapes and who knows, i think his story may have changed. howie: president trump suggesting there may be a benefit from suggesting comey's comment may be on tape. mollie hemingway, and ray suarez, former correspondent at the pbs news hour. shannon, i presume and i suppose the american people you suppose there were no tapes. shannon: the president called out publicly the f.b.i. director saying you better hope there are not tapes on twitter. that created the question. are there tapes? do you know anything about tapes? it seems the only reason they did answer is the congressional investigation gave them a
deadline of friday to answer whether there were tapes. howie: it was a bluff and a taunt. but journalistic critics are characterizing this as a character flaw. mollie: when he tweeted that, what he was doing was accusing comey of leaking because the previous day the "new york times" published a story about a covering he had with comey, and we know comey is. but he's identifying him as a leaker. he's saying stop telling stories where you are the hero, tell the full truth. it was much girl and more balanced. he did come out and admit he told president trump he wasn't under investigation and other things. how report idea and prospect of tapes had echos of watergate and
the president let this go on for almost a month. ray: having this conversation as if we don't live in a country where a presidency was ended by the existence of tapes, tapes that were also denied to have existed in the first place. so to say you may have or hint that you may have taped your own f.b.i. direct year's -- directon the white house is big stuff. then to not answer the question straight up and a month later say we don't have any tapes is outside the normal behavior of the last 44 guys who had this job. howie: he did hint it. he didn't say it, he dangled it out there. mollie: it's a clear example
what he was saying wasn't picked up by the media. it's easier to focus on the tapes instead of the former f.b.i. director was leaking. that was a story the media wasn't interested in. howie: i tried to press his with sean spicer. does the president neutralize some of the media criticism where what he did at the iowa rally. he criticized the phoney nbc network. they said rain may have dampened the turnout in the georgia special election. shannon: those who know the president well and know him for years say he leans into controversy.
he's not afraid of it. expect him to keep fighting and punching. they talk about this shift, will there be a trump pivot. get used to it. howie: to the extent he's punching the press, is it losing its effect at all or does it rally -- ray: another 36 months like the next five will be exhausting for all parties involved. howie: is it fair to say the press loves this. the journalist targeted by uber for exposing its culture. why is the press wise man, i'm nervous about things i can't control... affecting my good credit score.
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howie: democrat jon ossoff lost in the house race in georgia, many pundits seem to blame nancy pelosi. >> pelosi was a much bigger presence in this race than president trump was. >> getting rid of nancy pelosi is like treating cancer with a band-aid. she is a symptom of the problem but she is not the problem. howie: there seems to be a media drum beat about whether she can stay in that job. mollie: i think it is fair for them to use her. but i think she is being a bit of a scapegoat here. she has overseen losses for a long time. 2010 was the worst party lose anybody had since world war ii. she is the leader, though, and
it's fair to focus on. howie: when the house minority leader hold a press conference and the first question is will you stay in your job, you know you have an issue. ray: it's a legitimate issue. when nancy pelosi became speaker of the house, they had 40 more seats in the house. howie: if nancy pelosi resigned tomorrow, i know she is in her late 70s and has been around forever and is a san francisco liberal so she is a big fat target for the gop. is it a little bit of fake media drama because she is not going anywhere for the rest of his term. shannon: the speaker majority
leaders are always in the target. i think it's part of the nature of the job. she has 2018. maybe she didn't have a great week in washington. but there is a long road ahead and a lot could happen between now and then. howie: i wonder if the media overdramatizes the significance of these special elections. mollie: it's no longer a referendum on trump which was a change in media direction. howie: some said it shows trump's party is able. mollie: it's a party-wide issue.
and in newsrooms these views that the democrats have don't seem so radical whether they are on abortions or how to treat christians in the public square, these issues don't resonate very well. it's easier to focus on pelosi and it would be nice for the media to help facilitate some of that conversation. howie: cnn tries to link a trump
the media from using the audio. >> the white house press secretary is getting to a point where he's kind of useless. if he can't come out and answer the questions and they are not going to do this on camera or audio, why are we even having these briefings or gaggles in the first place. howie: ed henry, good morning. jim acosta went after sean spicer in the white house. is acosta crossing a line here? ed: i think he is. i think everybody is overhe acting to this -- overreacting to this whole issue. but the credibility of correspondents as well. yesterday morning i mentioned
jim acosta is a friend of mine. i got comments on twitter, he's a jerk. i will repeat. jim acosta is a friend, but he's overdoing this. he compared the white house to pravda this week. if you are going to be a reporter, these opinions are coming from white house correspondents. he had another tweet that said this is about the constitution of the united states of america. there is nothing in the constitution that says the white house has to have a televised briefing every day. i believe in the principle, wake up sean spicer, this is 2017, the american people expect transparency. tuesday we had audio only. get in front of a camera and answer the tough questions. howie: spicer said to me, when
the cameras are on, there is a lot of grandstanding. spicer said they want to increase their number of youtube clips. i'm not saying there shouldn't be televised briefings, but is there an overreaction? ed: it's a weak argument from the white house. go back to sam donaldson in the reagan years. that's how he made his name. so if you can get more business done with off-camera briefings. do it. networks won't like it. but it's about credibility and transparency. it doesn't always have to be on camera. think if hillary clinton had been elected and she is still under investigation. fires james comey and the clinton white house decide let's shut down the white house briefings for 8 days.
republicans who are saying this is not a big deal would be screaming from the roof tops rightly so. howie: you believe there has been a retreat. ed: sean has a point. reporters go in there, i am not perfect, you go in there. i used to press jay carney and he thought it was overdoing it. i was doing gotcha questions. howie: you are confessing you were overdoing it. you were play together cameras. >> i didn't get along with jay carney. he's always whining saying my bosses are unfair. but he never said i'm going to shut count briefings and turn off the tv cameras. everybody calm down, get back to answering questions, do it on camera which is part of the norm. the other thing i haven't said, what i agree with sean spicer on
in general, is that much of the press corps has been very, very unfair to this president. just look at most of the newspapers every day. but that doesn't mean you shut down the briefings. howie: since you are on camera, i have one more tough question for you. has it been awkward for sean spicer to go out of these briefing and people say we have reports that you are moving up to a management position. it's been clear white house officials have been reaching out to other potential press secretaries. ed: it makes it awkward. but the issue is not whether it's televised. he did not do well for himself when he said on camera these are the largest inaugural crowds ever. that wasn't true and it made him
look bad. as i travel the country i hear from a lot of people who support sean spicer. they say the reporters are out to get him, and he's supporting the president and trying to stand his ground. people don't know if he has credibility and face time with the president. sean spicer gets in front of the camera and says i haven't talked to the president about that. former press secretaries have been able to go into the oval office and speak with the president about these issues. howie: i'm pretty sure i have heard that before. i think the decisions are being made at the president level, not the press secretary level. in an embarrassing retraction, cnn deleted a story suggesting
that anthony scar scaramucci was under investigation. he has been nominated for an ambassador-level post based in paris. edtold me yesterday it wasn't a meeting. he had given a meeting and davos came over in a restaurant to say hello. the network now says cnn published a story on anthony scaramucci and it did not meet cnn standards. good retraction. anthony scaramucci said i'm disappointed the stories was published, it was a lie.
but we'll move on. howie: will the "wall street journal" fire a top reporter for ethical violations. ♪ sorry about the holdup, folks. we have some congestion on the runway and i'm being told it'll be another 15, maybe 20 minutes, and we will have you on your way. ♪ runway models on the runway? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money evan saved by switching to geico. i would not wear that lace. hmm, i don't know? fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. take the zantac it challenge! pill works fast? zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. when heartburn strikes, take zantac for faster relief than nexium or your money back. take the zantac it challenge.
the substance. do you have the impression the mainstream media don't much like this healthcare bill? mollie: it's good to have coverage that's tough on major pieces of legislation. it's something that was missing when we debate this over obamacare. that it was deficit neutral and would lower healthcare costs. those things were presented as facts instead having media pushback. the media pushback is good, but there should be more balance. howie: there are projections millions could lose their coverage. but is the press downplaying obamacare today and in some states many insurers have bailed out. ray: part of the problem is the
public doesn't understand the mechanics. the obama administration did a terrible job of explaining how it works and the media covered the politics. so now we are flying blind. it's great if you have somebody who is an instrument only pilot. howie: president trump on "fox and friends" this morning confirmed he privately called the house bill mean. the president re-peting he wants a bill with heart to come out of this process. but given he had a pros garden ceremony to support a bill he called mean get more attention? shannon: despite this rose garden ceremony, a lot of members of the house, even those voting for it were hoping the senate were going to make adjustments to it.
the senate bill looks remarkably like the house bill. howie: what do you think ray's point that television in particular does a less than stellar job on the substance of healthcare. where mitch mcconnell wants to have a vote on this thing. shannon: i was a healthcare reporter for a today he kade. they write about it every time someone pulls out of the dahm ware exchange the. but they also write about medicaid. howie: barack obama who rarely commented directly on his predecessor went on camera and said this bill is mean. hillary clinton said if the republicans pass this bill, they are the death party.
do you see anybody saying maybe that rhetoric goes too far? mollie: it's not just hillary clinton. you saw these messages from elizabeth warren and bernie sanders and prominent democratic politicians. it should be of interest to the media when you are using highly charged rhetoric accusing the president of being. it's completely within the proper realm of the media to ask whether that is appropriate. howie: the death party should be questioned. it's like you are pro-death. ray: but if nobody reports it, it's malpractice. howie: it is reported but i never saw the next paragraph
saying perhaps the first lady went too far in ro using that lang wage. mollie: you keep pushing and having larger conversations about rhetoric. here we have the lady to just ran for president and if you are not seeing media discussions on it. howie: the republicans keeping the bill secret until a few days ago. all this is fair game. is it also what the press did when barack obama tried to push through his legislation pretty much on a party-line vote. ray: of course it's comparable, but the parallels are a little flawed. and there was a lot more discussion in committee about the various pieces. obamacare before the legislation
came to a vote. howie: i think the media still needs to call it out. shannon: i know my colleagues have. but as far as the transparency around this bill, does the process matter to the american public? i don't know. having covered obamacare the first time, it was an exhaustive amount of discussions and hearings and debates. howie: thanks for joining us this sunday. with uber force out its chief executive. we'll talk to the silicon valley journalist who blew the whistle on him
howie: three years ago silicon reporter sarah lacy reported on uber. she kept up the pressure and this week came the breaking news. >> the ceo of uber is out. >> travis kalanick who founded uber is stepping down as the ceo of the company. he's announce his resignation after a series of scandals including sexual misconduct. howie: in 2014 when you were first reporting on sexism at uber you got a phone call from an official related to uber. >> i got a call from buzzfeed
editor ben smith and he said i need to talk to you. when someone at powerful in the media world says that and he detailed this strange dinner party he was at. it was one of the several times travis kalanick went out to reboot his image. at that dinner he detailed this plan to quote go after journalists by giving them a taste of their own medicine. in particular targeting their families and particularly targeting me and my family. he banltsd precise head counsel for this team. he was going to basically ruin my life and smear my professional reputation and try to hurt my family. it was shocking.
howie: and a chilling phone call to get. you said all your aggressive reporting on uber hurt your company. >> we very loudly exposed that. i wanted it known what uber did to me. i didn't want michael to say was just blowing off steam. i wanted the next woman to come out to get the benefit of the doubt. after that they did back off my personal life. but then they started going after my business. uber threatened several of our big business isers. we chad to change our business model to subscription because they would have run us out of business. howie: he referred to his
company as boober because they attracted hot chicks. why did so few in the tech prels aggressively go after his sexist culture at uber? >> it's a mystery to me. travis is incredibly charge and persuasive. he raised raised $10 billion. he's obviously a good salesman. i think a lot of great journalists got duped. beyond that there is this access journalism piece. when it comes to journalists who were fearless, she gave him a pass because she needed him to
be on stage at her conference. i sat through an interview where she locked him softball after softball. i think the business models of these younger media sites. if you are relying on the events to pay your bills and you need the teks on stage, what do you do? howie: after your long battles with a guy who tried to put you out of business, how do you feel about him being kicked out of uber? >> it's a victory for susan fowler. i was doing my job, but she risked her job. howie: she wrote a piece about the sexual discrimination she encountered at the company. sarah lacy, thank you for
howie: the "wall street journal" fired their chief foreign affairs correspondent jay solomon. they said they conclude he violated his ethical obligations as a report. they found emails showing an iranian-born businessman on youd solomon a 10% stake in a fledgling company that was going to sell arms to foreign governments. solomon said i clearly made mistakes. but i understand why the conversations i had make it look like i was involved in seriously
troubling activities. my boss and colleagues at the "journal" were nothing but great to me. fox business network surpassed cnbc in the ratings. i'm a little bit sceptical after all those interviews were done with fbn folks from a website that purports to cover business. that megyn interview with alex jones. the nbc show ended up finishing last in the ratings behind america's funniest home videos. that's it for this edition of "mediabuzz." like our facebook page. we have a dialogue there and post a lot of original content.