Fox Hosts, Trump Rip Admin Over New Benghazi Testimony: Dems ‘Did Their Job’ Burying Story Before Election

Fox & Friends discussed the recent developments surrounding Benghazi on Monday, as witnesses are set to testify later this week. Criticizing the Obama administration’s poor handling of the situation, the hosts invited Donald Trump to weigh in on the matter. Trump took aim at Democrats, pointing out that they successfully downplayed the story in order to ensure it didn’t affect President Obama‘s reelection.

At least three whistleblowers appear to be set to testify on Benghazi on Wednesday, including Gregory Hicks — who told investigators that they knew incident was a terrorist attack from “the get-go.” The Fox report further pointed to a witness who will testify that “that Clinton and an aide tried, in essence, to keep the department’s own counterterrorism unit out of the loop in the aftermath of the attack.”

Steve Doocy noted how “damning” the testimony could be for Clinton, prompting Trump to comment on how the story is a bigger deal now than it was before the election.

“They did their job, in one sense, that’s getting somebody elected because they didn’t want to make this a big deal,” he argued. “What they have done very successfully is they’ve delayed this until after the election. So the election goes through. The president is elected. This would have been very, very embarrassing after all the help we gave, and then they kill our people. This would have been very embarrassing before the election.”

The Democrats then, he added, did their job. Following up, Brian Kilmeade shifted gears a bit, questioning how the CIA “acquiesced” and whether any other reports have been “sanitized for political gain.” More than individuals, the storyline was the “party line,” Trump argued — and the issue didn’t resonate with voters either. To that point, Trump and Gretchen Carlson revisited Mitt Romney‘s handling of the issue during the election cycle, asserting that he should have made a bigger deal out of it and gone down swinging.

Later in the segment, firing expert Trump evaded answering when asked whom he would fire among Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Obama. Speaking of Clinton though, Doocy posited that the ordeal could potentially create trouble for her potential presidential run.

Take a look, via Fox News:

Spring Forward? For MSNBC, April Was The Cruelest Month

Two months ago, MSNBC President Phil Griffin temporarily morphed into Rex Ryan, the confident coach of the usually-inept New York Jets, winners of one Super Bowl in the past 45 years.

For those who don’t know Rex, he’s famous for his unbridled optimism and bold predictions. His forecast for the season (which usually involve the words “Super” and “Bowl”), much like actual forecasters, has never been noted for its accuracy.

Griffin is in a similar situation as Rex: He’s never won a championship in the ratings race, but that hasn’t prevented him from rallying the 30 Rock troops with bold prognostications of his own, such as his declaration in March of not only challenging mighty FOX News, but actually beating it in the ratings.

And good for him. In the words of another NBC guy, “You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” – Donald Trump

At the time of said prediction, I wondered aloud if Griffin had the horses to make a run for the roses, all while cautioning him to be more wary of CNN/HLN than attempting to make Roger Alies sweat.

That’s not to say Griffin was off-base before making the declaration: Very early in the year, Rachel Maddow beat Sean Hannity a few times (in the key 25-54 demo advertisers target, anyway). Lawrence O’Donnell had passed Greta Van Susteren on occasion as well. But the rest of the lineup? Not even on the same track from a ratings perspective…

Then there’s the timing for such optimism. MSNBC’s slogan used to be The Place for Politics. No argument here…the network eats and breathes all-things-DC. But remember, this isn’t an election year; mid-terms aren’t until November 2014. In terms of Griffin having the wind at his back, an-off-year like 2013 isn’t a game-changing 12 months for any cable news network.

Unless, of course, some big non-political event occurs like:

A) Natural disaster
B) War
C) Terror attack

Enter “C” in the form of the Boston terror attacks and subsequent manhunt. Arguably the biggest hard news story since 9/11. And from a media perspective, a story well outside the MSNBC’s sweet spot of advocacy and/or opinion journalism.

So while CNN and FOX made a well-documented mistake around reporting an arrest that never happened two days after the attack, viewers—already used to seeing errors via the Wild West that is Twitter and Reddit—didn’t seem to care. FOX has Shep Smith, CNN has Anderson Cooper, both extremely capable and respected. MSNBC has…well…the mothership NBC News, who ended up siphoning away an already-dwindling MSNBC audience as the story grew throughout the week (with Pete Williams eventually emerging as the most trusted reporter in the country in the eyes of many).

And after the suspects were killed and captured, respectively, and the story ended its five-day run, a curious thing has happened: Those who left MSNBC to get their hard news elsewhere haven’t exactly flocked back yet.

In April, FOX easily held on to its #1 spot and beat CNN and MSNBC combined. CNN saw significant gains (up a whopping 127 percent). But MSNBC somehow lost viewers during a month (the last half, anyway) when the country was glued to their television sets. Since the bombing story started subsiding, MSNBC has invariably finished in the lower half of the four-horse cable news race, including fourth in the prime time demo Monday through Thursday of this past week.

Another factor in MSNBC’s ratings reversal may be attributed to Griffin’s decision to replace Ed Schultz, 59 with Chris Hayes, 34, at 8:00 PM…all in an effort to draw younger viewers. But after one month, All In with Chris Hayes is down 18 percent from The Ed Show‘s audience for the same month last year. As for enticing those younger viewers, Hayes finished last in the demo in April.

Those who follow cable news argue that MSNBC and Hayes will be on more solid footing once the Jodi Arias trial is over. HLN has gone all-in on Arias, owns coverage of the proceedings completely. And it has paid off nicely, as the network continues to put up steady, respectable numbers every evening.

But after the Arias ruling is handed down, then what? Back to fourth place? Not quite…as the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial is scheduled to begin early next month, thereby providing a nice bridge for HLN post-Arias.

So what should MSNBC do about the Hayes problem at 8:00 PM? No one, not even Griffin, could have expected him to seriously challenge Bill O’Reilly given The Factor’s track record over the past 13 years (O’Reilly currently draws 5-6 times more viewers than Hayes). But if it’s just a race to the silver medal, Griffin wouldn’t dare dump Hayes after one disappointing month and therefore will allow the show to evolve despite audience numbers falling week-to-week.

But All In still needs major tweaks if it hopes to turn things around, so here’s an idea (and it may sound strange in such a polarized world): Why not add another 34-year-old to the set in the form of S.E. Cupp?

Cupp, one of the few conservatives in Griffin’s stable, is a star. She has presence, prepares well, can fence anyone, has the ability to keep it light when needed, and owns a unique look. You could see it going back to her days as a regular on Greg Gutfeld’s Red Eye, an irreverent panel program that broadcasts at 3:00 AM that boasts a demo audience on par with Hayes.

Few would argue All In needs a jolt, and adding a female conservative to an all-liberal primetime lineup might just be the defibrillator the network needs (without resorting to a more drastic, expensive measure, such as bringing back Keith Olbermann…but that’s a column for another time).

FOX continues to dominate.

CNN continues to improve.

HLN has found a niche in becoming Court TV 2.0.

MSNBC?

It’s safe to say Phil Griffin’s Rex-like optimism around catching FOX this year is about as likely as Michael Savage returning to the network…

And unless changes are made starting with its 8:00 PM offering, 2014—and all the races that come with it—won’t nearly come fast enough.

Follow Joe Concha on Twitter @ConchSports

Donald Trump Unleashes Fury On ‘Phony’ Jon Stewart For ‘F**kface Von Clownstick’ Nickname

On Wednesday evening, Jon Stewart invented a new nickname for real estate mogul and noted birther Donald Trump: “Fuckface von Clownstick.”

Following the Daily Show monologue that gave birth to the nickname, Stewart’s show took to Twitter to encourage Dear Internet to push this new nickname into viral territory:

Indeed, “Fuckface von Clownstick” has become something of a meme, with thousands of people tweeting the name at Trump’s own handle. Naturally, this does not sit well with the Donald. On Friday afternoon, he took to Twitter to unleash a fury like no other at the “losers” latching onto the meme:

He then, once again, took aim at Stewart’s birth name:

And then reiterated his criticism of Stewart’s show: It’s overrated.

UPDATE: Stewart replied via Twitter:

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>> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

Donald Trump Says ‘The WHCD Was So Boring This Year’ — And You’ll Never Guess Why

In one of his terse micro-reviews of a nationally-covered event, reality TV personality and very wealthy mogul Donald Trump said that the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was “so boring.”

Any guesses as to why it was so yawn-worthy for Trump?

We’ve come up with several potential Trump-like answers for why The Donald thought the glitzy event was a snoozer.

Take a guess at which one is actually the real answer:

  • A) Because Conan O’Brien‘s comedy routine sucked.
  • B) Because those looney liberals wouldn’t talk about important things like China or jobs.
  • C) Because Donald Trump wasn’t in attendance.
  • D) Because Conan didn’t have the guts to call out Obama on his birth certificate.
  • If you guessed A, B, or D, you were likely not far off. But, as it turns out, C is the correct answer.

    On his Facebook page this afternoon, Trump expressed why the party made him yawn:

    Bet you didn’t see that one coming — i.e., the headline to this article was clearly sarcastic.

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    >> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

    Donald Trump Dons His Finest Media Criticism Cap, Deems Jon Stewart ‘Overrated’

    Donald Trump: entrepreneur, real estate mogul, “billionaire,” reality TV star, birther, and… noted media critic.

    Demonstrating his prowess in the field of TV criticism this morning, Trump sent out a micro-review of Jon Stewart which can be summarized thusly (please read in your best Trump voice):

    I am smarter than Jon Stewart will ever be because he is so stupid and because his real name is not even Jon Stewart. It’s something much more Jewish-y. So, ha! Also: he is overrated.

    In other words, as Trump actually tweeted:

    Yes, Jon Stewart’s real name is Jonathan Leibowitz. And Bob Dylan‘s real name is Robert Zimmerman. Hell, Woody Allen‘s real name is Allen Konigsberg. Why is any of this relevant or even considered an insult to The Daily Show host? No one knows. But ZING, he got you!

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    >> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

    Donald Trump Apparently Decides Black People Are Allowed In Central Park After Dark

    Donald Trump, the conservative movement’s leading voice on minority outreach, has apparently decided, sometime over the weekend, that it is perfectly fine for black people to roam the confines of New York City’s Central Park, even after dark. Wonkette flagged a Twitter exchange in which The Donald suggested that the now-exonerated Central Park Five were guilty of something just because they were in the park, but the good news is that Trump thought better of that suggestion, issued a sincere apology, and promised to sin no more. Well, not exactly, but he did delete the offending tweet, without comment.

    The whole thing started when a high school coach told Trump to shut his face about the Boston bombing suspect, or anything else, until he learns his lesson about the Central Park Five, who were wrongfully convicted of the infamous brutal rape of the Central Park Jogger. From Wonkette‘s Rich Abdill:

    high-school basketball coach, making a connection between Trump back then and Trump’s tweet of, “We are not dealing with an innocent baby here-DEATH,” tweeted at him: “With all due respect, after your rant about the Central Park 5, perhaps you should keep law and order comments to yourself.”

    Oh snap. Dude set a hard pick and opened up the lane FOR A SICK BURN. But Trump will not be burned, no.

    “Tell me,” Trump wrote, “what were they doing in the Park, playing checkers?”

    Indeed! Black 14-year-olds? Outside? They must have been up to SOMETHING, good thing the police coerced confessions out of them and they spent a decade in prison, because maybe they were not playing checkers.


    Good for Trump for deleting the tweet, and thereby setting a good example for conservatives, and others who associate themselves with The Donald’s brand of “outreach.” The recently-released Republican “autopsy report” makes clear that the party has written off the black vote, but there are additional downsides to actively attacking black people. Republicans may never be able to make inroads with black voters (at least, not like this), but continuing to applaud a guy who views them as de facto criminals makes other people mad, too.

    Believe it or not, there are a lot of white people who care how black people are treated. There are a lot of non-white, non-black people who care how black people are treated. Not only do we have lots of black friends who aren’t criminals or welfare royalty, we also recognize that the ways in which racism impacts society, impacts all of society. When black people are incarcerated at disproportionate rates, for longer sentences than whites who commit the same crimes, the graduates of that system become problems for everyone.

    Like his offending tweet, conservatives should delete Donald Trump from their timeline, with or without comment.

    Trump Pressed On Fox About Obama’s Tax Rate, Refuses To Criticize: ‘We Only Want To Attack Fairly’

    “So much for fair share,” read Fox & Friends‘ chyron on Monday, as the co-hosts invited Donald Trump to discuss President Obama‘s 18.4-percent tax rate. While Gretchen Carlson posited that it’s perhaps a lower rate than some may have expected, and Steve Doocy spotted a contradiction, Trump refused to fuss over it. Because he only attacks “fairly.”

    “Many people are going to ask whether or not that’s his fair share,” Carlson said, especially given the hoopla during the election cycle surrounding Mitt Romney‘s tax rate. Obama isn’t “paying the amount that you might think.”

    “I don’t make much of it,” Trump replied plainly. “It would be nice if everybody could be down at that level.”

    “Certainly I wouldn’t want to make a big deal out of it,” he added. “He did make some donations, and, you know, we attack, but we only want to attack fairly.” (Said the man who called for a “revolution” after the election, and made the president a “very serious” $5 million wager.)

    Doocy nonetheless pointed to the budget proposal Obama released last week, noting he suggested wanting to limit deductions. “He’s able to take advantage of it now,” he inferred, “but he wants the rest of us not to take advantage of it in future.”

    Trump remained unprovoked. “If that goes through, he won’t be able to do it next year — so that’ll be interesting, and then he’ll have to pay higher taxes,” he replied. “But everybody is paying higher taxes, and it’s not good because the economy is very fragile and taxes are going up.”

    Take a look, via Fox News: