tv Journalist and Author Mollie Hemingway on the Trump Administration and the... CSPAN July 9, 2017 1:35pm-2:36pm EDT
he is the president and ceo and repealing andt replacing the affordable care act and democrat effort to keep the health care law and he will talk about hospital costs. 6:00 eastern tonight on c-span. next chance for you to get in on the phone conversation as tomorrow morning 7:00 a.m. eastern on washington journal. time now for journalist and author mollie hemingway talking about the relationship between the trump administration and the media. editor at ther online magazine "the federalist." the hour-long forum was hosted hillsdale college's kirby center in washington, d.c. >> good morning. i am matthew spalding. this is our local campus, as you well know. the main campus is in michigan.
the college was founded by men and women grateful to god, the great blessings of civil and the latest liberty and believe a diffusion of learning was the best way to perpetuate those blessings. it has been situated there for about 100 years ago, rejecting any federal support. provided education for all, regardless of their race, creed, or cover. -- color. we host students and public events like this one. we try to teach about constitutional government and the practice and principles of american constitutionalism. you can learn more about hillsdale and the kirby center, and about our online courses at hilldale.edu. our talk this evening is about trump in the media or more correctly, trump versus the media. he was criticized recently for one of his tweets. he responded his use of social media was not presidential, it is modern-day presidential. indeed, it seems like an
important aspect of his presidency, both his candidacy and now in the white house. an important aspect with his relationship to the media is essential to that presidency. what do you make of this? what does it tell us about the media? molly hemingway, the senior editor at "the federalist," longtime journalist, her work appears in "wall street journal," "the washington post," cnn, national review, and i could go on. she's a frequent guest on fox news, cnn, and national public
radio. she has recently written a broadside called "trump vs. the media." i have to commend my friend roger kendall, who is the publisher of encounter books, for reviving the broadside that she has recently written this on the topic. please join me in welcoming mollie hemingway. [applause] mollie: thank you very much, dr. spalding. my husband mark and i had the pleasure of being visiting fellows at hillsdale last year. we're so impressed with hillsdale, the journalism students we met there, learning more about the college you have.
so this is a great time to talk about this topic. cnn has had a rough go of it recently. they're one of the big media companies that has pushed a russia-trump collusion or conspiracy storyline since january. these have been built almost exclusively around anonymous sources who promise major scandal but continually failed to deliver. in some cases, the anonymous sources are not to be trusted in any way, shape, or form. such as those who are familiar with former fbi director comey's thinking. they told cnn journalists that
comey would testify under oath that he never told donald trump he is not under investigation, much less three times. in fact, that is precisely what comey testified under oath. that he had lies told the president he was not under investigation. a week or two after that story disaster, the cable outlet had to retract a story, publish an apology, and three employees resigned after yet another of these red scare stories based exclusively on anonymous sources -- turned out not to be true. this week, we sought cnn chose to use its power and might to go after borderline blackmail, the guy who may have originally created the idea that donald trump tweeted out -- it may sound strange, but that video showed a fake donald trump fake beating up a guy with a cnn logo for ahead in a fake wrestling
match. but something that really caught my eye yesterday that i want to begin with. cnn tweeted out quotes from notable americans about freedom of the press and related topics on independence day. one of the quotes they tweeted from abraham lincoln was an error. it was, "let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe." the tweet storm, this collection of quotes from cnn was widely interpreted as yet another attack on donald trump. "the independent" ran a story about it headlined "cnn taunts trump on july 4 with abraham lincoln quote on facts." they had a funny feeling about the quote, he dug into it. it turned out the quote was inaccurate, and even so, it was based on hearsay. the real quote was, "let them
know the truth, and the country safe." the context was people would have accepted disunion over a continued fight to victory. the fake quote relates to facts, the hearsay quote related to truth. it was a perfect conflation or error for journalists with cnn to make and one that speaks to modern journalism problems. facts can be manipulated. truth is much more difficult to obtain. it might be factual that obama's intelligence team briefed president-elect trump about the
russian dossier, for instance, but whether that fact is used to spin a russian conspiracy hoax is where truthfulness is important. it reminds me of the john peter zenger trial of 1735. you probably learned about this in elementary school. successfully argued by alexander hamilton. the trial was an important symbolic event for freedom of expression, now are numbered chiefly that truth should be admitted as a defense. that was not part of the english
system. he successfully got the jury to decide in his favor on that point. the trial was a disputation untruth and how it is revealed to man. the press in america have been accorded a variety of perks and privileges based on the belief that seeking and speaking truth are necessary aspects of liberty and on the assumptions that the press is integral to the success of civil society and that they would exercise their power responsibly. however, trump's victory has advanced the developing realization among many americans that the media has completely abdicated the responsibility and shown hostile to the value and ideas many americans hold. much of the population no longer believes the media should be treated deferentially. and given the power to shape, much less control, public opinion. so complaining about bias in the media as a republican tradition
going back many decades. at least to dwight eisenhower's 1964 convention speech. and to george bush, who held up a bumper sticker that said "annoy the media, reelect bush." the crowd would hoot and holler, because they knew that the media was biased against him. political candidates as different as richard nixon and john mccain have all complained about this issue. conservative talk radio hosts have spent years dissecting and framing and ankle on each story. conservatives have complained so much about media bias have become trite. journalists accepted the complaints as part of doing business and made little to no apparent effort to improve. in fact, it got worse. at some point, something broke. in the booklet -- in the broadside, i go through examples
of major media mistakes that caused a breakdown in trust. one, which some might be too young to remember, was media coverage of the duke university lacrosse team alleged gang rape of an exotic dancer. the three men that she had accused were not just found not guilty, eventually, but actually declared innocent, which is a very rare thing to have happened in a trial. but the media reported it as if they were guilty of sin, convicting them of rape and who knows what else. they used the incident to force national conversation about the need to accept all manner of politically correct -- whether it is treatment of the
tea party or legitimate concerns about the size and scope of the federal government were treated as the contentious and rational yachts of the racist grassroots. protesters showed up at town halls were disparaged as mentally unhinged and possibly violent. there was, in 2010, the revelation of journalist, secret email lists where hundreds of journalists shaped narratives to help barack obama. they included mainstream reporters and liberal journalists and, again, they shape the narrative. i think the big break happened with the candidacy of mitt romney. with trump in poland today, you might remember when mitt romney was on a foreign trip during his campaign. you had reporters from cnn, "washington post," and "new york times" chasing after him. i don't even remember what the supposed problem was, but they were shouting, what about your gaffs? they were screaming it. and you have candy crowley helping obama when mitt romney had him on the ropes.
you had mitt romney's effort to make sure he had good qualified women in his administration in massachusetts treated as if it were something very misogynistic. with "binders full of women" being shorthand about his war on women, when he talked about the problem of removing work requirements from welfare, he was called a racist. again, republicans and conservative voters are used to this. even someone as previously the left by the media as john mccain was slowly transformed into a hitler-like representation during his campaign against obama. but when it happened to mitt romney, a squeaky clean, nice, completely moderate conservative from massachusetts. they realize the media would do it anyone. the same time you have obama scandals. during the first and second term, they were barely covered, much less given the regular attention that political scandals are given. when the irs revealed that actors in the agency, some of whom were frequent visitors to the white house, where infrequent contact with the white house, had targeted conservative opponents of obama unlimited there ability to have tax-exempt status, it was treated as if it was no big deal.
even though, for many americans, it was a scandal that eclipsed watergate many times over. it is not just politics. media figures cannot hide their contempt with americans who do not share the same values, whether it's roaming the countryside, trying to find fake bakers or pizza shop owners they can highlight for not sharing the same ethics. or going back to 1990, when the "l.a. times" framed the abortion debate in terms favorable to those who support the practice. they quote abortion rights activists more frequently. they ignore and give minimal attention to events and issues favorable to abortion opponents. we saw that most recently with how the cover, rather covered up, the planned parenthood organ harvesting scandal. it is also what happened in 2013, when a philadelphia abortionist was on trial for some of the murders of some of the children and women whose lives he ended in his filthy clinic. he kept trophies of baby feet in jars. his employees testified that he sniffed the spinal cords of children he just delivered. he performed abortions without
sufficient pain medication. his clinic was soaked in cat urine and so messy that patients could not be evacuated safely. he kept fetal parts in the refrigerator next to employee lunches. this had all the makings of a major media maelstrom -- a prolific serial murderer, a sensational trial, innocent victims. even had angles for non-crime reporters. things like immigration status and racism. yet the media had to be absolutely shamed into covering the story in any way more than the cursory fashion. even when major outlets devoted a bit of coverage here or there, it was reluctant and paltry. one "washington post" reporter, who had written dozens of stores favorable to abortion rights groups, road that she did not cover this because it was,
quote, "a local crime story." the idea that the national media don't cover local crime would be news to people, read about the connecticut school shootings, the trayvon martin killing, the police shooting of michael brown of ferguson, missouri. so whether the topic has been religion, the family, human life, guns, conservative governance, or even sports, media bias has become more pronounced and an epidemic. once conservatives saw the problem, they cannot on see them. even the case for more nuanced issues, we react hysterically to disasters that occur during republican presidency while
giving the benefit of the doubt of environmental disasters that have been during democratic years. republican comments are made sexist and bigoted while downplaying or trying to provide context for charged comments from democrats. hiding balancing viewpoints at the end of stories instead of featuring the more prominently. using terms with negative connotations with stories they dislike and those with positive connotations for those they favor and many other ways of shaping the truth. looked at from the perspective of conservative voters who feel
like they have been repeatedly lied to and abused by media elite for decades, it is really not hard to understand how we ended up with trump. the media, however, are so unrepentant and so lacking self awareness that they're having no trouble admitting they have done anything wrong. instead, they're indulging in hyperbole and hysteria. the current political situation is the logical result of the hostile and distrustful environment that the press cultivated. rather than some black swan event unleashed by the sudden onset of irrationality of voters and flyover states, it was the media's decade-long approach of putting their thumb on the scale by covering conservatives and conservative causes poorly. it created a lose-lose situation for conservatives. there's no way to operate successfully in a system where the media allows them to be respected as the principled
opposition only as long as they were shackled and limited by biased news coverage. conservative voters were beyond sick of it. the media would say things that were not true, cover issues dishonestly, then accuse others of being liars for disagreeing. no candidate, not even squeaky clean moderates, such as mitt romney, could keep the media from painting republicans and their release as dangerous. it was enough to make half the country to give up on the enterprise of working with the media entirely. trump exploited the situation. he did not create it. he made the most of it. quite literally, he rode it to the white house. trump voters love that he was beating up the bully that they had been unable to vanquish. they loved he destroyed the media's power to label things as gaffs. trump would not have had this power had the media not set things up through decades of shoddy coverage targeting its political opponent. the media did this to themselves. following trump's surprising win, the "washington post" had a great idea. something they should have done a few weeks or months prior. they asked supporters why they were voting for him. among the many interesting answers were several that specifically mention the media. nicole said, "as trump cleared each hurdle during the campaign and i saw how the media, the establishment, and celebrities tried to derail him, my hope began to grow that i would be able to witness their collective heads explode when he was successful." diane's answer was "the media did the united states a huge disservice in covering the campaign." lori explained "i voted for donald trump because the media was so incredibly biased. they are unhinged in their role as the clinton propaganda machine. the collusion was just too much." samantha said, "i am a gay
millennial woman, and i voted for donald trump, because i oppose the political correctness movement. after months of going back and forth, i decided to listen to him directly and not through the minced and filtered quotes from the mainstream media." clearly, something is different. michael creighton explained something called "gell-mann amnesia" in an essay which is against speculation. you probably heard bit. he described it as a newspaper or an article on some subject one knows really well. you read the article and see that the reporter has no idea what he's talking about no understanding of the facts or issues. the article is so wrong, it presents a story backward reversing cause and effect. then you turn to the national and international affairs and read it as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate than the baloney you just read. that the amnesia affect. you turn the page and you forget that you did not trust the topic you knew about. creighton noted that people tend to discount serial liars or exaggerators. when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it's probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. when, in fact, it certainly isn't. but what if the errors are now so routine, the narrative pushing so blatant, the partisan bias so pronounced that people are no longer slipping into amnesia. what if they're just done? sick and tired of the entire media industry and distrustful
of many of the stories they encounter on tv and newspapers. and what does that mean going forward? members of the media have enjoyed an elevated position, celebrity status, even, on the theory they would behave responsibility with the power that they had to police public conversation. they would aim for objectivity and stability rather than just advance partisan narratives at the expense of facts. that's just gone. even earlier in 2016, trust the media had hit historic lows. gallup reported that americans' trust and confidence the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly dropped to its lowest level in pulling history, with only 32% saying they had a great deal or fair amount of trust of the media. that was down eight points over the previous year. among republicans the situation was far worse. only 14% had confidence in the media, and that was before what happened in november of last year. media, in response, are not just continuing to do the things that are angering people on the right, but they are doubling down on them. they are openly declare war on the president, in some cases. it is further infuriating voters on the right. before, conservatives hated the media. now, they are angrier. you also have a significant part
of the conservatives who decided this is not a good area to focus on. i want to look at a few of those arguments. the conservative response to american rejection of a hostile media comes in many forms. one is to disparage it with the cliche of what-about-ism. you point out the media no longer have credibility to adjudicate donald trump because they took an eight year nap while barack obama violated the presidency. you are accused of what-about-ism. but politics is a continuum. stating facts about why the media have no could ability holds people on all sides accountable. the first step to fixing the problem is to acknowledge you have a problem. another conservative critic says that mediate criticism is just anti-anti-trumpism. he says that sure the mainstream media has been awful, they've airbrushed stories in history, they're going after trump they had no problem with under obama. and yet, they have
and yet they hyperventilated outrageous charges but so what. the media are terrible. they are no worse than they were before and trump is worse than other presidents, according to this critic. another said yes the media are bad but you have to rise above it. simply call out the media for their violations when they arise but do not do what donald trump does. another says the press must be supported because shared facts are important for a functioning republic. people going into echo chambers is dangerous and try ballistic. -- try ballistic t --rballistic. don't attack the press, everyone come together and learn about the importance of the first amendment. you don't say that he's a unique threat without demonstrating why. just because he does things differently doesn't mean all traditions and norms must be respected in political
discourse especially when you , consider what previous methods have gotten conservative. with complete domination of the media by the liberal establishment you have $19 trillion in deficit. lengthy or in some cases seemingly unending wars, crony capitalism redefinition of , marriage, tolerating the sales harvested from babies during the abortion. calling out media bias as a consultant works. conservatives have been doing it for 50 years. the data show that journalists felt empowered during the obama area to target ordinary americans and undermined heartland values. people have legitimate reasons to feel persecuted by the press. andrew breitbart who is known for his median -- media criticism said the left does not win its battles in debate and doesn't have to. the 21st century medias everything. the left wins because it controls the narrative. the narrative is controlled by the media. the left is the media and the narrative is everything. the mainstream media portrayed itself as objective observers of reality when there's no such
thing. they are partisan, critical theory hacks that think they can destroy everything american stands for by standing on the sidelines sniping at patriotic americans with all of their slurs. they have nothing but contempt for the american people. might be a bit overwritten, if you remember andrew breitbart you understand his style. so where does that leave us? so is what trump is doing good? the press are still a vital institution. we need transparency and accountability among our leaders. the press of the institution in america best positioned to do that. they have not been doing that. i don't know where the war goes. what should have happened after 2016 should've been apologies for how they treated trump voters. there should have been a realization that their narrative setting propaganda was not good for discourse. they should've hired from outside of their tiny bubble.
instead, a part from a few mea culpas here and there, the media reinforce their problem. instead of firing their worst reporters they promoted them or hired them away. they did not make any structural changes. so this is the problem we face and challenge before us. the implosion of media credibility is a crisis. the ones you need to fix it are unwilling or unable and the health of the republic is at stake. on that cheery note, i am happy to take any questions. [laughter] [applause] >> there are some mics if you can use those, please. >> i saw a picture of the cnn had -- had -- head. how does that differ from a political cartoon? why was it not in the same as a political cartoon? >> when president trump tweeted out on sunday was a short video clip that had been doctored so that it was originally a wrestling event that had been videotaped and have been doctored so it appeared donald trump, who actually was in the original -- isn't that right?
we live in such weird times, don't we? the victim was the cnn head. i don't think that people found the product itself so out of bounds so much as who is sending it. it's absolutely true that this behavior that we have not seen before, not just from presidents but republican presidents. he is tweeting in a way and i guess that is modern-day, i don't think that's what he saying. he is saying he is attempting to lead a country where one of the problems is the inability of established order to respond to change and he's willing to punch through the norms and he's willing to fight, do things not
supposed to do in order to make a change. whether you like that or do not like that is an entirely different issue but i think what he is saying is the president leads and if the media is creating a problem, and people do not think the media has been doing a good job. >> thank you very much. i want to just make a statement and see if you agree and if you do, why and if you do not -- i will just make it. the media is more powerful than ever. you agree with that, and if you do, do you think there are ideas or steps on how to reduce its power? or do you disagree, and if you disagree, why? >> the media are more powerful than ever. it is such a complicated topic that i would like to reflect on
a little bit before answering, but i do not have that luxury so here we go. i do think that there are aspects of changes in technology that have created both a moment of greater power for the media and then also there attacks on media power that these advances in technology have also led to. so we have seen how media messages and they generally held opinions held by elite media can change things quite dramatically. a push an agenda will test and will keep in an unrelenting fashion. that's incredibly powerful. even creating an environment
where people are afraid to speak out. that is why what happened with cnn this week was so telling. if they hold views different from the elite media consensus that they might be held up for ridicule. when cnn literally went after a guy like a random person who , dared mock their media outlet it felt like, that's what we feel like you been doing and it was very threatening. they hold a lot of power. at the same time you never had so much power against that domination with the d civilization that the media provides and the different way people are trying to respond to it. it is a complicated topic and i think technology is a major
reason why. you started as a journalist starting out with a publication in new your way, you are known for your quality of your work and if you did a good job you could move up in the ranks. and now was social media journalist showing everybody all the time what their biased views are. it is just very complicated times. i will think more on it and we will have a chat later. yes? >> i follow the same template, i
will make a short statement and ask if you agree. i have a problem with the media bias problem because the premise that the media was biased but the media was always biased. because few publications or radio or tv controls the information flow, the useful ideology was not biased so you will have to listen to us. so what now is kind of what happened with labeling in the food stores. it is an honest labeling of the sources of media so now we can make a choice whether we want to listen to this kind of media or this kind. there is kind of more honesty
now. >> i agree and disagree in part. it is absolutely true there is bias, and in fact this here. we have seen -- this period we have seen for the last few decades where people claim to be nonbiased, that is a blip and american history. i think we are pretty clearly, obviously going right into that more european model of media. it does come at a cost, though. one of the critics i pointed out said it's important to have a shared set of facts and that is absolutely true. it helps to have a debate where you can come together on some agreement where you can agree that this is the matter at hand that needs to be discussed or these are the facts in play. when you have a completely organized media where everybody is submitted to their biases we -- their biases you do not get a lot of civil discord and cross discussion that is very good for the public.
we are very different people. we have very different ideas. obviously pretending that things are objective and that people are unbiased -- but that is not happening. but it's not necessarily a good move to go into a more tribalized space so it comes at a cost. >> good speech, thank you. what should be done more to talk at those people who have some intellectual integrity, for them to actually raise the question of what am i being told here when they listen to the regular liberal media. if they just asked themselves a question they will see what they are being fed is completely disconnected. just to make people wonder, my -- have i been lied to? i think they need to go self-destruct and disappear. at this point there's always people too dishonest to face up to reality. but there's a big segment of the population that needs to wise and up. w --isen up. >> i think this is where the topic of trump versus the media is interesting.
the arrival of trump on the political scene in earnest a couple of years ago that has been lurking for a long time, but it's been a transformative and highly disruptive. what happened in the conservative environment was very difficult. the best advantage conservatives or republicans had was a long period of time to deal with what trump is doing to their party and what is doing to the movement. there was a lot of anguish and angst and people did not know how to respond. at the end he wins the election
and has everybody on board. notable exceptions in d.c. and manhattan but, they had a long , time when you think about what happened with the rest of the country, can you imagine what that was like for people to wake up the morning after the election and the one thing they knew would not happen. they did not know how things would go but the one thing they knew and felt very confident and secure in, that did not happen. they wake up and all of a sudden overnight they have to do it republicans and conservatives are doing for years, which is coming to terms with, this is real and it is happening. so sometimes i reflect on how people are reacting so hysterically to the election of donald trump. but i try to also remember they did not have that lengthy period of time to get adjusted. now that it is july i feel like we need to step it up a little bit. part of what you're scene with the angst and with the media not knowing how to respond to the moment is them working out some of these issues you are talking about. they are trying to understand who do we believe, who do we trust, what is news and how to cover these things? i don't know how well they are doing but they are struggling. the struggle itself is going to be difficult for a lot of people but hopefully they will get to a healthier place soon.
>> thank you. i am a teacher. what you suggest when i am in front of all my students and they are asking me about the media? i'm trying to stay as unbiased as possible. but you are going to sources and they are researching, what you -- what do you suggest for someone like me in a position that i'm supposed to be unbiased, at the same time trying to teach them to be neutral? >> i think this is why so many people are frustrated with the ubiquity of anonymous sources in coverage of the trump administration. teaching people how to respond critically to a story they see, read, or hear is very important and something all americans should do. it is a function or -- function of being a good and healthy member of the republic.
the way you do it is by checking facts that are put in the story. you look at original sources to see if they were conveyed accurately. you think through your natural objections you might have to a certain storyline and where they placed in a story or not? when you see overreliance on anonymous sources which by definition cannot be checked for accuracy, i reference the cnn story where we are told james comey would testify under oath by people very close to him which is usually code for, call -- comey. they have said things that were completely not true. what happened to those sources ? what happened to the story? why were we not told what went wrong there? who messed that up? were the sources who give the false information outed which is something you can do if the source lies to you. they did not even talk about it. it's very hard to accept or trust a given story when media outlets are not providing that kind of transparency that would be very helpful right now. in general, i grew up in a town with two newspapers, and it was awesome for learning how to evaluate news stories. you would learn how one reporter handled one event, how another reporter handled another and you see they had completely different takes they saw , different things. would open up your mind to the possibility that once perspective can color how they treated a news story. one thing you could do is encourage people to look at various sources on a given story. so if it's a hearing been covered, look at how all the different people are covering that hearing. even a sporting event you can get different reactions from multiple reporters. compare and contrast.
>> do you have a feel on how the advertisers are responding to all of this? >> that is a really great question that is probably very significant and i do not actually know the answer to that at all. i do think that one thing the political left has been good at has been weaponizing commerce and advertisers and it probably , will not take too long before the right figures out the method too. you see it in some political situations like having has a major corporations bully legislators into doing things that the citizens don't want because they threaten economic consequences, or you see sometimes a campaign to harm advertisers on certain shows and whatnot. that is a game that can go both ways. i do not think it is a particularly healthy game, by the way. the media outlet really loses its credibility i think the funders and the advertisers will start to take things more seriously. we might see what happens there pretty soon. >> i am a pakistani spectator and my question is do you see a , worse relationship between media going after president trump and his fans liking him
more? i am asking this question because as a journalist i hear this question especially , for many people from other countries they tell me that he should not have won the election in the first place and even after he won the election he should have been out of office a long time ago. >> yes, the thing i like to say is that the media and donald trump are in kind of a dysfunctional, codependent relationship. so they both feed off of attacking the other. it works out well for both of them. donald trump made it to the white house by attacking the media. clearly that is working. at the same time, ratings are off the hook for a lot of tv networks and subscriptions are up, people are enjoying the media battle against trump as well. they don't have strong incentives to change what they are doing. and yes, the anger i talk about is so serious among certain sectors of the american public. the ones that are frequently among the most marginalized from the newsroom that the more he , attacks the media the more they feel he's doing it on behalf of him. they really feel like they were brutalized by the media. so when they see somebody punching back, it is not something they will be upset about. if you are already a critic of trump you look at it think it's dangerous and horrible. this is exactly what we are worried about. so it is not a healthy situation, particularly because nobody has an incentive to change right now. >> i really appreciated your practical solutions, so thank you for dealing with the media
and the press. when and why do you think it became so slanted? and is there anything different about trump, not necessarily worse, but anything particular to his presidency that is an anomaly? >> nothing at all, i haven't noticed anything. everything seems normal. [laughter] and i do go into this on the broad side that this breakdown , in trust really occurred over decades. people keep thinking this trump event is singular and this is the thing we need to focus on. really, credibility for the media was declining for a long time. before, there were problems in major stories. i actually had this what is something that caused you to lose trust in the media and the diversity of responses was astounding. a lot of people did not like katrina coverage. it just was not something i was very tuned into. for some people it happened
quite recently. you remember the "rolling stone" published a cover story and part -- as part of a national campaign, it was pretty obvious it was a national campaign by certain liberal groups to make college campus rape a big issue. so as part of that campaign they ran a cover story on how at uva there was this brutal gang rape and at first the story which was written by sabrina aired away, received wide acclaim. people were praising it up and down. this brilliant piece of journalism. it turned out to be a hoax from the accuser that should have been caught 100 times over by the reporter and it wasn't, made it through editing channels. it was a complete disaster. they had to pull the story and
they are facing major lawsuits. before it was revealed it was a hoax story the fraternity had been kicked off campus. there are some real problems because of these falsehoods that were spread through the story. but seeing how a powerful media institution like "rolling stone" supported by various other media amplifying voices could push this agenda when it was based on nothing, a lot of people woke up to problems there. should also be pointed out the story was exposed as fraudulent first and foremost by an independent blogger who just said it smelled fishy. he was attacked mercilessly for this. there is a reporter who dug into it and was attacked. by the time the washington post was raising questions people realize there is a problem. in fact it was the washington
, post in particular and a few other media outlets that did a good job holding that publication accountable. it would be nice also when people are criticizing what is happening in the media in terms of pushing narratives that they also realize the importance of having good critical responses in that same media environment as well. that is why it is important. i think a lot of people see just the negative that comes from major media establishments. there is a lot of a negative. there's also important strengths they have to bank. -- have too. >> ms. hemingway, thank you so much for your thoughtful remarks. i'm curious to know what your summer reading recommendations are? >> that's a great question which i should have a better answer. my husband and i have been reading through shakespeare a little bit every day. it's a good thing you can get through in a year.
i forget, is it matthew schmidt that put it together? i'm so bad with names. i am so sorry, oh, my gosh. anyway it's a daily reading guide and i highly recommend it. i am reading -- because all things russia are so fascinating -- i am reading the nobel laureate's work called i'm so bad at this. a big book on russia that everybody loved two years ago, secondhand memories or something like that, it's very interesting. i will think of something in a few minutes and get back to you. >> i think you push back on this a little bit on the panel but the common conservative establishment narrative is that trump is hurting his agenda by his war with the media. and yet you made a compelling case why it would be just for a conservative mighty politician who love this country to try to attack that or breakdown the media power.
are you opening to the agenda to do something to the media or break that power? or do not buy into that? >> on special reports the other night, we were talking about donald trump's tweets. it was charles lane of the washington post who pointed out that attacking the media is part of donald trump's agenda. is it distracting from his agenda when he tweets out attacks on cnn? it is a major part of his agenda. there many reasons why. it is almost surreal to look back on the major media themes leading up to this point. we have actually had six plus months of straight up hysteria on russia, based on i will admit it does seem like maybe outgoing people did a really good job of giving the impression there is something there. some point you have to ask, is there any fire here other than you people running around with your heads on fire? is there any actual thing here?
we have had washington post, cnn and a few other outlets really pushing something that is not -- who knows, maybe it will turn out. i sometimes play this game sometimes when i joke about what would be the craziest ending to 2017, and mine would be that putin really did for the russians really did create a manchurian candidate years ago and donald trump is a stooge of russia and of the white house. the be hilarious yet scary ending of 2017. barring that unlikely outcome, it seems like we've had a lot of time wasted on something not very good to waste time on. if you're trying to have another agenda and you have got the media pushing this story, you need to push back on it.
it is part of his agenda, and even more than that, i found the wrestling meme to be fascinating. it's part of his agenda and even more than that if on the wrestling -- if you're not reading but watching anything this summer, i highly recommend glow. it's for gorgeous ladies of wrestling. on netflix. it is about a 1980's era wrestling thing happening. i was not a wrestling fan in that time i've been learning a lot about the sports of wrestling. one of the things in this tv show is the character realizes that this is a soap opera. when she says oh, it's so popular, i cannot play this part . i'm going to be the good girl, she is going to be the bad girl, we will have cartoonish storylines and so trump tweets out this wrestling mean and so -- wrestling meme and so he picks out different victims and this goes back to the
codependent relationship i was talking about. but it's part of his agenda. it also enables him to accomplish other things where there's the storyline of good guys and bad guys. >> thank you. >> i really enjoyed the talk so far. politifact, the jokers of our media, how effective do you think they have been? >> it depends on what you think their goal is. if their goal is to discredit media fact checking, they have been incredibly effective. >> you can see that all online at c-span.org and search
they set up these fact checks and frequently set up additions, against impossible, where you cannot fact check a prediction about the future p you cannot fact check and opinion. when he fact check even things that could have been fact checked, they did not do a good job with the evidence and whatnot. claim iftimes gave the you like your health care plan you can keep your health insurance. true six times in some form before later ruling it alive the of their ally of the
year, after obama won reelection. in general, i think there is an aspect of feeling like they're losing control of the narrative. they enjoy the power they had when there were a few media outlets and more diffused, a , theyg they lose control build a wall germany style and they canything in, and force people to accept their narrative. checking has clearly failed and people should probably worry about freedom of expression or freedom of press, later like socialf that, media giants determining what is real news and what is fake news, like facebook, whether they allow information to be shared, and certainly, alarm bells, they are concerned about liberty,
even as they're concerned about the actual spreading of false information. yes. >> i read "the washington post" and the washington times and it seems like the major newspapers in los angeles and boston, new post, all have a very liberal take on the news. the washington times is located here. i'm wondering how throughout the nation the other story of what is have trump in the trump administration, how does that get out? it is also part of what many people find frustrating about trump-pence was conquering of social media, his followers on twitter and also he uses other social media forms. directly tong
people with his own message unfiltered by the media. if you are concerned about true things, what is good and what is not president donald trump necessarily is known as the most accurate in every tweet he sends. but he is able to communicate straight people without using filters, the filters having become too cumbersome or two too shadedbiased -- and biased against people. -- pretty conclusive evidence of media messaging not syncing through to a good portion of the electorate. outright rejection. you might remember "the new york had a front-page articles saying journalists must throw out the textbook on covering .oh donald trump
we have to stop this. it was a very overt statement. the role a lot of people who felt that. there were a lot of people who put the covers that way. it was considered unacceptable to vote for donald trump. the fact that he won is a good indication that people are getting their information from means other the mainstream media. >> last question. >> sure. >> i grew appearing walter cronkite say "that's the way it is." the breakup of the media seems to be a good thing. they now seem to have lost so much credibility, i wonder if they can ever reestablish it -- reestablish it? what are the implications for our country and democratic conversation? .> right all presidency should be held accountable and they need to be held accountable for the sake of the republic. that people have
confidence in their institutions and feel that they can trust crisis thatutional we have. you can argue about how well the media did that prior to the obama administration. but there's a great argument that they completely failed to do that during the obama era. and now they lost credibility, and i don't know if it can come back. tois certainly not going come back until they accept they have a problem and they need to make changes and start making dramatic changes. you need to make a dramatic show of your remorse and truly change your ways. repentancean and means to turn away from what you're doing. when you repent of a send, you turn away from it. you don't keep doing it. -- wed to change dramatic need to see dramatic changes in the way the media covers the
people. changes sostematic you're not hiring from the same limited bubble on the island of manhattan and inside the beltway. you need to think about how to diversify the political views in the newsroom, that you make people able to be comfortable to express those views. the reason it is important is we do need to have ways of holding accountable. it is hard to get this white house to be transparent when you're spending your time hunting down people who made a funny video mocking your network or talking about how many scoops of ice cream the president has. you need to have credibility because you want to have the voice that can fight to hold people accountable. the white house does not really released the names of people who come to visit them.
they also did this during the obama administration. they would have meetings offsite. this is something that we should know. he was coming to the white house. we do not have a media that is strong enough to push for that kind of transparency. without that a lot of corruption can go forth and people lose confidence and that is not what we can have in our system of governance. they think about how to regain the credibility, understand the importance of regaining the credibility and make real good faith efforts to do so. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> c-span's "washington day with live every
news and policy issues that affect year. monday morning, dr. margaret flowers with the vision for national health program and our guest from the cato institute will discuss the feasibility of healthnment funded insurance program. the trumpon of administration request for voter information and the reaction nationwide. this is live at 7 a.m. eastern monday morning. join the discussion. >> now, former george w. bush and obama administration officials on terrorism financing and ongoing efforts to disrupt and prevent those funding networks' operations. posted by the arab gulf states institute in washington, this is about 90 minutes. >>