Trump Lavishes Praise on Hannity, Other Fox News Hosts During Interview: ‘Patriots’ Who Get ‘Great Ratings’


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President Donald Trump called in to his favorite Fox News media haunt on Wednesday night and indulged in a long lovefest with host Sean Hannity while bashing as “disgraceful” a press corps that has “lost credibility.” “Outside of you and a few other great people, I call them patriots, actually. But you’re not really patriots as much is you want ratings. You getting great ratings, Sean, last night you had tremendous — I heard the speech got you fantastic ratings,” Trump said. “Oh yeah, they were massive,” Hannity said, interrupting Trump’s boasting with lavish praise. “It was simple, I just showed up.” “You and Tucker [Carlson] and everybody else having to do it and you did it. It was a great evening,” Trump continued. “When you have the lies and the frauds committed by the other networks, many of the other networks, you look at what’s going on, it’s Continue reading "Trump Lavishes Praise on Hannity, Other Fox News Hosts During Interview: ‘Patriots’ Who Get ‘Great Ratings’"

Trump Calls on NY Times to ‘Release Their Sources’ on Russia Report


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Donald Trump President Donald Trump doubled down on his criticism of the New York Times for its recent story about a purported US cyber attack on Russia’s power grid, claiming it was not only “fake news” but also calling on the newspaper to “release their sources.” The story has raised alarms in Washington — and embarrassed the White House — not just because of its revelations about a secret American cyber attack on a major geopolitical foe, but because the Times also reported that Pentagon officials intentionally kept Trump in the dark about the operation for fear he would countermand or possibly leak news of it to foreign officials.

40 Acres


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President Trump claims to have struck a deal with Mexico to settle a dispute of his own making. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the lives of the people who stand to suffer most. Plus, how the path to America’s eviction crisis begins, in part, with the Great Migration. 
  1. Bob Moore [@BobMooreNews], freelance reporter based in El Paso, on the human reality at the border amidst the latest Trumpian mendacity. Listen.
2. We continue our four-part series on eviction by charting the persistent line between racist housing policies, localized profiteering and the devastating plunder of generations of wealth. Guests include Matt Desmond [@just_shelter], founder of the Eviction Lab; Natalie Moore [@natalieymoore], reporter for WBEZ; and Marty Wegbreit, director of litigation for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. Listen.

Introducing: The Scarlet E


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Millions of rent-burdened Americans face eviction filings and proceedings every year. On this week’s On the Media, what we think we know, and what we definitely don’t know, about America’s eviction crisis. Plus, how local journalists failed the Central Park Five. 
  1. Jim Dwyer [@jimdwyernyt], columnist for The New York Times, on his experience reporting on the Central Park Five trial. 

  2. We hear the story of Jeffrey, a security guard in Richmond, Virginia whose severe rent burden caused his family to be evicted. 

  3. Matthew Desmond [@just_shelter], founder of the Eviction Lab, explains what he and his fellow researchers have learned from their massive collection of eviction data. 

Hurricane Season is Nearly Here. Brace Yourself for the Coverage.


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Tornadoes ripped across multiple states on Tuesday, killing at least one person. It was the twelfth straight day of tornado activity in the U.S. — a new record, according to the National Weather Service. But as the New York Times reported yesterday, limited data make it difficult to draw explicit connections between a warming climate and trends in tornadic activity. Even in our hyper-quantified time, there's still an element of mystery to where, why, and how twisters strike.  And then there are hurricanes. For media professionals, hurricanes offer the very best kind of bad news, because the story arc is predictable, and invariably compelling. In our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbooks, we examine the myths, misleading language, and tired media narratives that clog up news coverage at a time when clarity can be a matter of life and death. Since the Atlantic hurricane season begins this week, we're republishing Continue reading "Hurricane Season is Nearly Here. Brace Yourself for the Coverage."

Newly Released Michael Cohen Warrants Show Prosecutors Relied in Part on New York Times Reporting


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Michael Cohen, then President Donald Trump's personal attorney, in NYC on April 13, 2018. The FBI raided his home, office and hotel room. In May of 2019, those warrants were made public. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered search warrants pertaining to Michael Cohen that were obtained by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team during the Russia investigation to be made public. On Wednesday, the documents with a number of redactions, were released. Chief Judge Beryl Howell ordered the five warrant applications released in response to a lawsuit brought by the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and other media. In the released documents, made public on Wednesday morning, the rationale behind the searches was revealed, and among the evidence listed was reporting by the New York Times. For example, in the July 18, 2017 application for “a search warrant for information associated with the email address” belonging to Cohen, his Gmail account, the New York Times was referenced for pages. Under the Probable Cause section (bolding added):
24. On or about February 19,2017, the New York Times Continue reading "Newly Released Michael Cohen Warrants Show Prosecutors Relied in Part on New York Times Reporting"

Solving the Facebook Problem at Home and Abroad


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When former Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes penned a New York Times op-ed calling for the breakup of the platform, he was lauded by anti-corporate politicians and the press. Then came a series of hard questions: how exactly would breaking up Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, address free speech concerns? Or help stifle the spread of propaganda on the platform? And how would American regulations affect the majority of Facebook users, who live in the global south? According to Michael Lwin, an American-born antitrust lawyer living in Yangon, Myanmar, US regulators should tread lightly. He and Bob speak about how calls to break up Facebook could have wide ranging unintended consequences, especially outside of the US.

Constellation of Secret Evil


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A controversial bill in Alabama is the latest in a wave of different abortion bans sweeping the country. This week, On the Media looks at the influence of Janet Porter, a little-known lobbyist who has been pushing what are misleadingly referred to as “heartbeat” laws. And, a deep dive into the rise of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and what his autocratic regime tells us about the future of Europe. Plus, a new book reveals how conspiracy theories became a fact of American life.
  1. Jessica Glenza [@JessicaGlenza], health reporter at the Guardian US, on the influence of Janet Porter, the lobbyist behind the so-called "heartbeat" abortion laws. Listen.
2. Paul Lendvai, author of Orban: Hungary's Strongman, on the rise of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Listen.
  1. Anna Merlan [@annamerlan], author of Republic of Lies, on the long arc of conspiratorial thinking in the United States. Listen.
Support On the Media today at onthemedia. Continue reading "Constellation of Secret Evil"

Trump Accuses Reporters of Cashing in on Him: ‘Some Will Go and Sign Movie Contracts Tonight’


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President Donald Trump called the media “fake news” during a speech on Tuesday, in a strange tangent in which he also accused reporters of cashing in on him. “The fake news, look at all of them back there,” Trump said at a speech in Hackberry, Louisiana, pointing at reporters as the crowd laughed. “Fake news. They’re going to be very famous. They’re going to be very famous tonight.” “Some will go and sign movie contracts tonight,” he added. “Look at these guys.” White House reporter for the Washington Post Seung Min Kim replied on Twitter: Watch above, via Fox Business.

The Past, Present and Future of Nikole Hannah-Jones


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This week, we want to bring you a terrific new episode of Death, Sex and Moneyanother WNYC show that we think our listeners will appreciateThe show's host, Anna Sale, is on maternity leave, and an exciting cohort of former guests and friends of the show are hosting in her absence, talking with the people they're most curious about. The episode this week is hosted by Al Letson. Normally he hosts the podcast Reveal, but here he’s talking with Nikole Hannah-Jones, an award-winning investigative reporter covering racial injustice for the New York Times Magazine. If you’re familiar with Nikole’s reporting (and even if you're not), we think you’ll enjoy this conversation about how her life brought her to the work she does today. 

Impossible!


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The political press has long used the vague notion of “electability” to drive horserace coverage of presidential candidates. This week, On the Media considers how the emphasis on electability takes the focus away from the issues and turns voters into pundits. Plus, the shady dealings of the tax preparation industry, and how FOIA has been weaponized. And, how Trump duped financial journalists about his net worth in the 1980s.
  1. Investigative journalist Jonathan Greenberg [@JournalistJG] on how Trump obscured his finances to wind up on the Forbes list of richest Americans — and why it mattered so much to him.

  2. Dennis Ventry, professor at UC Davis School of Law, on how the tax preparation industry united to shield themselves from a publicly-funded alternative.

  3. OTM producer Alana Casanova-Burgess [@AlanaLlama] speaks with Dennis Ventry, Michael Halpern [@halpsci], Eric Lipton [@EricLiptonNYT] and Claudia Polsky about a Continue reading "Impossible!"

STATE TV? MSNBC Host Al Sharpton Meets with Speaker Pelosi to Advise On Policy


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Rev. Al Sharpton heads his organization, National Action Network, in addition to his duties as an MSNBC host and contributor. On top of those jobs, he’s also advising the Speaker of the House on policy, it seems. Sharpton tweeted a photo on Wednesday that had some buzzing about conflicts, as it was a shot of his private meeting with the most powerful Democrat in the country, Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

The fact that one of his jobs, his most visible role, is that of an MSNBC host, is a big sticking point — Free Beacon’s Andrew Kugle noted on Twitter — and compared the relationship to that between Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity and President Donald Trump.

A High State of Agitation


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After accusations that he mischaracterized the Mueller investigation’s findings, Attorney General William Barr blames the media for muddling the story. This week, On the Media dissects Barr’s deflections. And, how a Jewish satirist uses grotesque caricatures to cut to the heart of the discourse on antisemitism and why effectively combating hate requires building coalitions. Plus, how ABC's The View became one of the biggest political stages on television.
  1. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], host of the Amicus podcast and write at Slate, on Barr's mischaracterization of the Mueller report.
  2. Leo Ferguson [@LeoFergusonnyc], organizer with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, on the ways to understand and combat antisemitism.

  3. Eli Valley [@elivalley], comic artist and satirist, on feeling gaslit by the antisemitism debate.

  4. Ramin Setoodah [@RaminSetoodeh], author of Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View and the Continue reading "A High State of Agitation"

Is True Crime Jinxed?


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Whether Robert Durst confessed on camera will become a relevant legal matter in the real estate figure's upcoming trial. The supposed confession — "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course." — at the end of HBO's The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst has recently been revealed to have been seriously, deceptively edited. In 2015 Bob spoke with documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, co-creater of the Paradise Lost trilogy, about modern filmmaker, the responsibility of the artist and different interpretations of "truth." It's a relevant conversation to revisit, this week in particular.  

Harm To Ongoing Matter


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After years of waiting, journalists finally began digging into the redacted version of the Mueller report. On this week’s On the Media, how the special counsel’s findings confirm years of reporting about turmoil within the White House. Plus, what the Notre Dame fire and the Sacklers show us about the dark side of philanthropy, and how the Justice Department stopped prosecuting executives. And, an undercover investigation shines a light on the NRA’s PR machinery.  1. Eric Umansky [@ericuman], deputy editor at ProPublica and co-host of the Trump Inc. podcast, on the Mueller revelations. Listen.
  1. Anand Giridharadas [@AnandWrites], author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, on the dark side of philanthropy. Listen.

  2. Jesse Eisinger [@eisingerj], author of The Chickenshit Club, on how the Justice Department stopped prosecuting executives. Listen.

  3. Peter Charley, executive producer of Al Jazeera's "How To Sell a Massacre," on the NRA's PR machinery. Listen.

Wake Up, Sheeple!


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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London, and now faces prosecution. On this week’s On the Media, a look at what Assange’s arrest may mean for press freedom. Plus, what the new image of a black hole tell us about the power of science in the face of a conspiracy theory minefield. And, a look at a new documentary about former Trump strategist Steve Bannon.
  1. Bob [@bobosphere] opines about what Julian Assange's arrest means — and doesn't mean — for the future of press freedom. Listen.
  2. Yale astronomy and physics professor Priyamvada Natarajan [@SheerPriya] finally gets a glimpse at what she's spent years theorizing about: a black hole. Listen.

  3. New York Magazine's Madison Malone Kircher [@4evrmalone] on how YouTuber Logan Paul stokes the conspiracy flames. Listen.

  4. New York Magazine's Max Read [@max_read] on how the Matrix's "red pill" Continue reading "Wake Up, Sheeple!"

Jared Kushner: The Media is Distracted by ‘Crazy Conspiracy Theories’ and ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’


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Speaking with Fox News Laura Ingraham, top White House aide and son-in-law to the President Jared Kushner tore into the media Monday night. Kushner’s comments were prompted by Ingraham noting “a lot of ink has been spilled” over the Trump administration and the media. She then played a clip of CNN’s Jake Tapper saying — referring to the Mueller probe: “I’m not sure what you’re saying the media got wrong. The media reported what in the investigation was going on.” In response, Kushner said this:
The media got the election wrong. They thought  for sure Hillary Clinton was going to win…Their data was wrong. Their analysis was wrong. And then it happened.  Not a single person got fired. Not a single person apologized…We’re in a very unique time. People sometimes let their hatred for Trump overtake their rational ability to kind of look at things objectively. I Continue reading "Jared Kushner: The Media is Distracted by ‘Crazy Conspiracy Theories’ and ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’"

The End of Magical Thinking


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With the Mueller investigation complete, talking heads have given the short public summary their usual spin. This week, On the Media looks at why the framing of the report produced so much misunderstanding. Plus, how historical amnesia and old ideas about limitless growth have influenced American psychology and foreign policy. 
  1. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], writer for Slate and host of the Amicus podcast, on how the summary of Mueller's findings is being spun. Listen.

  2. Corey Robin [@CoreyRobin], political science professor at Brooklyn College, on Americans' flawed historical memories. Listen.

  3. Greg Grandin [@GregGrandin], history professor at New York University, on his latest book, The End of The Myth: From Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America. Listen.

  MUSIC: Prelude 8: The Invisibles - John Zorn Trance Dance - John Zorn Kronos - Purple Haze Sacred Oracle - John Zorn Rebel Soldier - The Nashville Sessions

The Press Doesn’t Learn Things, Unless Those Things Are About How Great They Are


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For the media, Monday was the first day of the rest of the Trump presidency following the letter from Attorney General Barr summarizing the long-awaited, everything-must-go, Watergate on steroids biggest deal in the history of the universe Mueller report. It didn’t go so great. Many members of the media are now out there defending their profession against criticism they don’t even feel they should be facing, indulging in the tantalizing persecution fantasy that after all, Trump abuses and demeans them, and his base is openly hostile, so therefore surely the media are blameless and professional and it’s you people who are the real problem, right? To paraphrase their white (or orange?) whale, WRONG! There is a problem. And there is something to the critique that CNN’s Brian Stelter offers here: