Expanded Role For MSNBC’s Williams?

Posted in MSNBC on August 15, 2016 by icn2

CNN’s Brian Stelter writes that MSNBC is looking to give Brian Williams the 11pm hour through the election so that the network can talk about this year’s most under reported subject… (via J$)

According to the plan, Williams will anchor a special 11 p.m. program wrapping up the day’s campaign news, the sources said.

The plan is subject to change until the scheduling move is officially announced. But the Williams program has been under consideration for weeks inside MSNBC.

DirecTV Drops Newsmax TV?

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on August 15, 2016 by icn2

Newsmax TV is no longer airing on DirecTV. I don’t know exactly when it happened but the dearth of news when I searched Google suggests it happened either today or within the past few days.

When you try to tune in you get a message saying “This channel is currently unavailable. Please visit directvpromise.com for more information. That site is a generic site that has this at the top…

You come first.

DIRECTV is committed to bringing you the best TV experience at the most reasonable value. When disputes arise with programmers over their rising prices, this site will keep you up to date with clear and direct information.

This strongly indicates that DirecTV is in the middle of a carriage dispute with Newsmax. Given what happened between Dish and Newsmax TV, it would not be unreasonable to assume that something similar is going on here. The rumors were Newsmax wanted Dish to lower or eliminate the amount of money the network was paying Dish to carry it.

Related: I’m hearing that Newsmax TV has cancelled the Ed Berliner show…though it won’t officially exit the airways until Friday.

Fisking The Fisking…

Posted in CNN on August 14, 2016 by icn2

NewsBusters’ Tom Blumer writes about a difference in reporting between Reuters and CNN regarding whether the Secret Service talked to Trump or not regarding his “Second Ammendment, people” comment.

Well, since I have written “Second Amendment people” here, I guess I need to fire up the coffee pot for the imminent Secret Service visit. What rubbish.

Unfortunately, both outlets are spinning the Trump campaign’s response to make it look as if the campaign acknowledges that Trump’s comments have the potential to “incite violence,” even though they didn’t “mean to.” Horse manure. The campaign has recognized no such thing, nor should it, nor should any person who understands English. The words “Second Amendment people” don’t incite violence any more than the words “First Amendment people” or “Constitution-following people” would.

The press and the Clinton campaign (but I repeat myself) are engaging in yet another attempt at language suppression. It’s another example of what George Orwell’s 1984 referred to as Newspeak, the modern version of which in this instance is trying to brainwash people into believing that any time a person says the magic words “Second Amendment,” that person is himself or herself violent or is encouraging others to take violent action.

Don’t wait by the TV waiting for CNN to retract its report about what Reuters has asserted didn’t happen.

I wasn’t originally going to write about this until I saw this story make it out like Reuters totally and completely invalidated Scuitto’s account.

It didn’t. Not even close.

The problem here, which Newsbusters conveniently fails to pick up on, is that both the Reuters story and Sciutto’s account can be true. There is enough of a delta between both accounts to make them accurate.

I’m going to quote the part of Sciutto’s reporting on the air which NB highlighted which gets to the heart of the CNN account.

An official from the United States Secret Service tells me that it has contacted, has spoken with the Trump campaign regarding those comments, those comments yesterday on the Second Amendment. In fact, I’m told there has been more than one conversation with the campaign since the candidate made those comments. In addition, I’m told by the Secret Service that the Trump campaign’s response was that Donald Trump did not mean to incite violence.

And here’s the Reuters version…

a federal official familiar with the matter told Reuters that there had been no formal conversations between the Secret Service and the Trump campaign.

I highlighted the word “formal” because its use is probably not an accident.

Sciutto’s reporting never said there were “formal conversations”. All Sciutto said was that someone from the Secret Service spoke with someone in the campaign about it…more than once.

The difference is, in this case, a legal one. A formal discussion means one in an official capacity with official notes and a record of the contact. “Speaking with someone in the campaign” about it could mean anything from the verbal equivalent of a nudge in the ribs to a finger wag.

So Scuitto could be right…and Rueters could be right. The Secret Service or some element of the Service could have had a backchannel discussion with elements of the Trump campaign to the effect of “Hey, knock that off…that’s not good” and it would not rise to the level of a “formal” investigation of the matter the way the Service would traditionally handle a potential threat to a presidential candidate.

It’s hardly the open and shut final say Newsbusters makes it out to be.

Newsmax TV vs. FNC?

Posted in FNC on August 10, 2016 by icn2

Mediaite’s Josh Feldman writes about some strangeness taking place on Newsmax TV…

Newsmax host Dennis Michael Lynch went off-script tonight and declared tonight, “This will be, odds are, my last night.”

Lynch hosts the program Unfiltered, and tonight he took a moment to speak from the heart and recall the words of a mother of a 9/11 first responder about how he’s the kind of man “who puts his money where his mouth is.”

He revealed to viewers that in “fighting for Trump” on the air, he has “been restricted” in that message and was recently informed he “will no longer have editorial discretion on my own.”

What bothered him most of all was that the network was pushing “pre-made packages” on his show. He said last night he saw one that “tried to slam Fox News for the unfortunate things that are taking place over there right now.”

Newsmax, being a conservative channel, is a competitor to Fox, but Lynch was outraged that they would be running news on the Roger Ailes allegations when “they’re the only other guy in the room trying to fight for the same thing I am.”

And then Newsmax TV took him off the air. That this thing degenerated to this level where the host comes on the air and torches his employer underscores just how not ready for primetime Newsmax TV is. Professional networks just don’t have this problem.

See what I mean?

FNC to Fire Tantaros?

Posted in FNC on August 9, 2016 by icn2

Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy writes that FNC is probably going to fire Andrea Tantaros (via J$)

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is likely to be terminated by the network soon, a source close to the situation told Business Insider on Monday.

The source said Tantaros would likely have her pay cut off and contract severed in the immediate future, but did not say precisely when.

Settlement For Ailes?

Posted in FNC on August 8, 2016 by icn2

Amid two stories coming out about Roger Ailes’ alleged harrassment; one from Andrea Tantaros and the other from Shelley Ross, Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison reports on FOX pressure on Ailes to settle…

Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox has begun discussing a settlement in the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit against Ailes, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The company is requesting that Ailes, who has denied all Carlson’s allegations, fund at least a portion of the settlement, which is expected to reach eight figures, these people said. At issue in the settlement talks is the existence of audio tapes recorded by multiple women in conversation with Ailes, two people familiar with the tapes said. Ailes’ lawyers have argued that any negotiation with Carlson should take place in private arbitration, but the specter of a public trial looms. “If they litigate the case, all the tapes will become public, directly and through others,” this person said. “Then you will have a parade of women come in. Nobody wants that.” (Ailes, through his lawyer, denied all allegations.)

And then there’s this…which I said a few weeks ago was a definite possibility…

A massive culture change, however, seems probable. Some Ailes loyalists who remain affiliated with Fox News find themselves in a particularly difficult spot. They are anxious to distance themselves from him, even as they anticipate their own ouster from the network, a Fox source told me. Several of them, who worked for Ailes in a personal capacity but were on Fox’s payroll, were dismissed last week, according to one senior Fox employee.

Roger Ailes’ “Black Room” Campaign?

Posted in FNC on August 7, 2016 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman writes about Roger Ailes’ alleged “Black Room” operation…

But with Ailes gone, Fox executives are now looking closely at how Ailes spent Fox money. And what they are discovering is that, beyond the sexual harassment claims, Ailes was also able to use portions of the Fox budget to hire consultants, political operatives, and private detectives that reported only to him, according to a senior Fox source. Last week, according to the source, Fox News dismissed five consultants whom Ailes had hired to do work that was more about advancing his own agenda than Fox’s. One of the consultants, Bert Solivan, ran negative PR campaigns against Ailes’s personal and political enemies out of Fox News headquarters, a source said. A Fox News spokesperson confirmed: “Solivan was recently informed that his services were no longer needed.” Solivan, who had previously worked for Fox News as a general manager of the channel’s website, did not respond to requests for comment.

According to one highly-placed source, Solivan worked out of what Fox insiders called “the Black Room,” an operation Ailes established around 2011 to conduct PR and surveillance campaigns against people he targeted both inside and outside the company. The “Black Room” was located on the 14th floor of the News Corp building at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, a quiet part of the office that housed Fox News Latino and some marketing and promotions employees. Fox employees Ken LaCorte and Jim Pinkerton, veteran political operatives who’ve worked with Ailes since the 1980s, also worked with Solivan, the source said, adding that Ailes’s personal lawyer, and Fox contributor, Peter Johnson Jr. advised the team. (In an email, Peter Johnson denied any involvement in “Black Room” campaigns, saying, “The only online campaign I’m aware of is yours attempting to create a truth from a fiction with this account.”)

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