David Axelrod on 200 episodes of The Axe Files, silos in podcasts, and today’s “golden age” for journalism

Recording 200 episodes of an hour-long podcast in a little over two years (they’ve been downloaded almost 20 million times) is a task not for the faint of heart. When each of those 200 episodes features a politician or other newsmaker and is a largely unedited, hour-long conversation, well, that’s almost as much work as getting a freshman U.S. Senator elected to the presidency. Conveniently, David Axelrod is familiar with both, as President Barack Obama’s former chief strategist for his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and as the voice of his podcast The Axe Files, a production from CNN and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. (Disclosure: As an alumna of the University of Chicago I was involved with the IOP, though I did not interact with Axelrod frequently.) He worked as a local reporter in Chicago before jumping to politics, developing campaign ads, and eventually Continue reading "David Axelrod on 200 episodes of The Axe Files, silos in podcasts, and today’s “golden age” for journalism"

Dan Abrams: Trump Team’s Letter to Congress Complaining About Mueller Feels ‘Like a Stunt’

On Saturday morning, Kory Langhofer — an attorney for President Donald Trump‘s transition team — wrote a letter to Congress complaining that special counsel Robert Mueller “unlawfully” obtained thousands of emails from the transition team. According to Mediaite founder Dan Abrams, it’s a move that reeks of a PR ploy. Appearing on Good Morning America Monday, Abrams told host George Stephanopoulos that even though the letter criticizing Mueller’s tactics was addressed to Congress, the Trump team wrote it with a different audience in mind. “The idea of going to Congress first makes it feel like a stunt,” Abrams said. “Because you’re saying, ‘Oh, we want to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The next time there is a big issue about the presidential transition, we want to just make sure that…’ — that just doesn’t make any sense.” “This was a statement from Trump’s team to the Continue reading "Dan Abrams: Trump Team’s Letter to Congress Complaining About Mueller Feels ‘Like a Stunt’"

Scarborough Slams Fox News for ‘Fomenting a Constitutional Crisis’: ‘Could Lead to Violence’

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough slammed Fox News for its coverage of Robert Mueller’s special investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties, after the network likened the probe to a “coup” over the weekend. After arguing that the Trump administration has not learned from the defeat of Roy Moore in Alabama, Scarborough said that his supporters “get on state-run TV” (a veiled jab at Fox News) and call on the president to fire Mueller, “something that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe would launch a constitutional crisis.” Mike Barnicle brought up Fox News’s weekend segment suggesting the Russia investigation is tantamount to an anti-Trump “coup.” “Not only that, but using state-run TV, and employing the word ‘coup,’ which is a truly dangerous word to employ,” Barnicle said. “Who’s running Fox News by the way?” asked Scarborough. “Donald Trump,” Barnicle quipped. “I have stayed away from criticizing Fox News for Continue reading "Scarborough Slams Fox News for ‘Fomenting a Constitutional Crisis’: ‘Could Lead to Violence’"

Fox & Friends Asks NSC Official About Trump’s Condemnation of China: ‘How Does He Identify Russia?’

National Security Council communications director Michael Anton appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning to preview President Donald Trump’s upcoming speech outlining his foreign policy plan — and waffled on a question about how Trump will address Russia. Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade noted that Trump will identify China as a “strategic competitor” in his speech, before asking Anton: “how does he identify Russia?” “He identifies Russia the same way he has been talking about Russia all year,” Anton said. “I don’t know if any of you saw that he had — the president had a phone call with President Putin yesterday.” Putin has been on something of a campaign to woo Trump this month, first praising the U.S. president for the booming stock market in his annual press conference — prompting Trump to call the Russian president to thank him for his kind words. And over the Continue reading "Fox & Friends Asks NSC Official About Trump’s Condemnation of China: ‘How Does He Identify Russia?’"

Sen. Joe Manchin: Dem Calls For Al Franken to Resign ‘Most Hypocritical Thing I’ve Ever Seen’

Sen. Joe Manchin forcefully rebuked his Democratic colleagues’ successful efforts to pressure Sen. Al Franken to resign from the Senate, after a number of women accused him of sexual harassment. Appearing on Politico’s Off Message podcast, the West Virginia Democrat, who did not call on Franken to resign, spoke harshly about the imbroglio: “What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” Manchin said. Franken announced he would be resigning from the Senate “in the coming weeks,” in an unapologetic speech earlier this month. That came after an avalanche of his Democratic colleagues called for him to resign as yet another woman came forward to accuse the Minnesota lawmaker of inappropriate behavior. Though according to Politico, Democrats are regretting their tough line on Franken: “At least four senators are urging Al Franken to reconsider resigning, including two who issued statements calling for the resignation two weeks ago and Continue reading "Sen. Joe Manchin: Dem Calls For Al Franken to Resign ‘Most Hypocritical Thing I’ve Ever Seen’"