“…Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.”


Rupert and his wife and TrumpoDaily Mail, UK

❝ An editor at Fox News killed a report prior to the 2016 presidential election revealing that President Trump engaged in an affair with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels years ago, The New Yorker reported on Monday.

According to the magazine, former FoxNews.com reporter Diana Falzone “had obtained proof” of the affair and confirmed it with several key sources, including Daniels and her ex-husband.

Falzone had also reportedly obtained emails between Daniels’s attorney and Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen that showed that Cohen had proposed to pay cash to Daniels in exchange for a nondisclosure agreement.

❝ …former Fox News executive Ken LaCorte ultimately told Falzone to “let it go.”

“Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go,” LaCorte reportedly said.

If you’re surprised to learn this, I know folks with a couple of bridges in NYC ready to sell them to you.

Fox — the channel for timorous white folks


Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie, O what a panic’s in thy breastie!

❝ It wasn’t so much a dog whistle as it was an airhorn. Or perhaps a primal scream. But whatever it was, Laura Ingraham’s forceful denunciation of “massive demographic changes” served as another raw example of a Fox News host echoing white nationalist language.

Perhaps it was a glimpse into President Donald Trump’s well of support, too.

❝ The Fox News audience is almost 100% white, according to Nielsen. And on the channel’s highest-rated shows, the politics of white anxiety play out practically every day, as hosts and guests warn about the impacts of immigration and minimize or mock the perspectives of people of color

“The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Ingraham said Wednesday night. “Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like.”

Ingraham said “this is related to both illegal and legal immigration.”

Nixon’s Southern Strategy has come home. Another president who – no doubt – also deserves to be impeached has taken up the racist cudgel. The Fake President marches on in his campaign to squash democratic opportunity. His Republican allies in Congress, whether through cowardice or shared racist conviction, march proudly at his side.

Folks ignorant enough to believe “It can’t happen here” had better get off their rusty-dusties – because once the Klan-types are through with reinstalling racist officialdom they’ll be coming for anyone who isn’t wholly subservient to their version of law.

Last Time Olivia de Havilland Sued a Producer Was 1944. She Won.


Ms. de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton in “Gone With the Wind.” 1939.

“A large part of the reason I decided to move forward with my action against Fox is that I realize that at this stage of my life and career I am in a unique position to stand up and speak truth to power — an action that would be very difficult for a young actor to undertake,” she wrote. “I believe in the right to free speech, but it certainly must not be abused by using it to protect published falsehoods or to improperly benefit from the use of someone’s name and reputation without their consent. Fox crossed both of these lines with ‘Feud,’ and if it is allowed to do this without any consequences, then the use of lies about well-known public figures masquerading as the truth will become more and more common. This is not moral and it should not be permitted.”

The suit is being fast-tracked. Ms. de Havilland is 101.

Advertise on Fox’s Bill O’Reilly Show? Sex Scandals everywhere? Runaway, runaway!


You wondered who set Trump’s standards

❝ Fox News is in a jam this week as major automakers and smaller outfits pull their ads from the network’s popular “O’Reilly Factor” show, following a series of sexual harassment claims against host Bill O’Reilly.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi all yanked their ads after a New York Times investigation that surfaced five sexual harassment cases against the political pundit.

They were joined Tuesday by pharmaceutical makers GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer, Sanofi Consumer Care, insurer Allstate, asset management firm T. Rowe Price, and personal finance company Credit Karma.

❝ Orkin, a pest control company, and Untuckit, a men’s clothing line, and Constant Contact, an email marketer, and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, the parent company of the Rachel Ray-endorsed dog food brand Nutrish, also announced they were pulling ads.

In total, at least 15 advertisers have so far withdrawn support

❝ Mercedes-Benz said in an emailed statement that its advertising on the show “has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy.”

“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” added spokeswoman Donna Boland…

❝ The Times reported that the five women have received settlement payments totaling $13 million from either Fox or O’Reilly himself.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy…or a crappier network.

Donald, This I Will Tell You — You’re A Sucker…A Tool…You Got Played — Sincerely, Maureen

Dear Donald,

❝ We’ve known each other a long time, so I think I can be blunt.

You know how you said at campaign rallies that you did not like being identified as a politician?

Don’t worry. No one will ever mistake you for a politician.

After this past week, they won’t even mistake you for a top-notch negotiator…

❝ …You, Donald, are getting a reputation as a sucker. And worse, a sucker who is a tool of the D.C. establishment.

Your whole campaign was mocking your rivals and the D.C. elite, jawing about how Americans had turned into losers, with our bad deals and open borders and the Obamacare “disaster.”

And you were going to fly in on your gilded plane and fix all that in a snap…

❝ You promised to get the best people around you in the White House, the best of the best…Instead, you dragged that motley skeleton crew into the White House and let them create a feuding, leaking, belligerent, conspiratorial, sycophantic atmosphere. Instead of a smooth, classy operator like James Baker, you have a Manichaean anarchist in Steve Bannon.

❝ You knew the Republicans were full of hot air…and they have no aptitude for governing…You knew that Paul Ryan’s vaunted reputation as a policy wonk was fake news…Instead, you sold the D.O.A. bill the Irish undertaker gave you as though it were a luxury condo, ignoring the fact that it was a cruel flimflam, a huge tax cut for the rich disguised as a health care bill. You were so concerned with the “win” that you forgot your “forgotten” Americans, the older, poorer people in rural areas who would be hurt by the bill…

❝ You were humiliated right out of the chute by the establishment guys who hooked you into their agenda — a massive transfer of wealth to rich people — and drew you away from your own.

…You got worked over by the Republican leadership and the business community, who set you up to do their bidding.

They’re counting on you being a delusional dupe who didn’t even know what was in the bill because you’re sitting around in a bathrobe getting your information from wackadoodles on Fox News and then…peppering aides with the query, “Is this really a good bill?”

You got played

Sincerely, Maureen

There are times when Maureen Dowd really rocks. This is one of the best.

Click the link and RTFA. The whole enchilada. Worth it.

Trump disses a poll that doesn’t exist

❝ On the grand scale of Things President Trump Says That Are Inaccurate or Misleading, a tweet Monday morning about a poll from CNN rates fairly low. It’s hardly at the level of Trump’s false assertion that millions of votes were cast illegally, for example, or his untrue claim that his predecessor tapped the phones at Trump Tower. But it is notably Trumpian for a few simple reasons.

1. It was disparaging a poll that he once cited as accurate.

2. It was apparently a response to something he saw on TV.

3. It was about TV ratings.

4. It was wrong.

❝ Trump’s tweet:

❝ This appears to have come in response to discussion on CNN’s “New Day” program about 10 minutes before Trump’s commentary. Anchor Poppy Harlow mentioned a daily tracking poll of Trump’s approval, which on Saturday hit a new low of 37 percent. She pointed out, accurately, that Trump still has strong support from his base, and the conversation quickly moved on.

That tracking poll, though, isn’t from CNN. It was from Gallup. CNN was simply reporting on it, as Harlow noted after Trump’s tweet…

❝ The last part of Trump’s tweet on Monday, though, isn’t about polls, it’s about Nielsen ratings…

It’s a very social-media thing to do, to misinterpret something someone says and then try to insult them as deeply as you can. Perhaps it’s not terribly presidential — but it is very Trump.

Though many reasonable folks have pointed out that Trump has the semantical sense of a sixth-grader – we need a few news anchors noting that he has the emotional maturity to match.

Fox ate National Geographic

natgeo rupert

Over the last few years the National Geographic Society has been slowly vanishing into the Murdoch family’s Fox media empire like a gazelle being swallowed by a python in one of the former’s famous videos. This month the consummation will be complete and Fox will take full control of NatGeo’s major assets – its stake in the TV network, its flagship magazine, its TV studio – in a $725m deal.

The process has not been easy, or without controversy. In September, when the deal was announced, former staffers and others were incensed. “I told my wife I would rather see National Geographic [magazine] die an honorable death than be swept into something it’s not supposed to be,” said veteran NatGeo marine photographer Brian Skerry at the time. The Society will continue to exist as a separate entity…

❝“Even at the very beginning, the magazine subscription was dropping like a stone,” recalled a former executive. “The dirty secret is that NatGeo needed the money for their endowment. Nothing makes money. Nothing. The only thing holding them together is the channel now, spinning off money so they can be alive…”

In the beginning, the network was the dream of Tim Kelly, then the head of the company’s own television unit, which produced National Geographic Explorer for CBS, among others. The group won scores of Emmys; 138 when Kelly left in 2012. But it was also costly, more interested in prestige than in cash, and times changed dramatically. Kelly had had a death in the family and was not available for comment; he now runs an education technology startup called Planet3…

The network officially launched on 1 January 2001, with Laureen Ong as president and Wilk as head of programming. National Geographic had torn down its museum to build a studio on M Street and 17th in Washington DC to build a TV studio; everyone at National Geographic was excited about the new network’s news show…

By 2007 Ong was out, and David Lyle, fresh off the shuttered Fox Reality channel, was in. With president Howard Owens and Lyle as CEO, Lyle was quick to make changes. Memories of the companies’ history together divide along predictable lines: National Geographic loyalists insist that the company’s valuable brand had been sullied by the barbarians at Fox. The Fox crew contend that National Geographic lived in a fairyland of high-minded ideals funded – eventually exclusively – by Fox. When you’re starving to death in a gingerbread house, you choose between food and shelter…

Last year, both Lyle and Owens left the company, Owens first. “As a senior TV executive, I am supposed to say everybody is replaceable, but in Howard’s case I say without a shadow of a doubt, we couldn’t have done it without him,” wrote Lyle in a memo when Howard’s exit was announced, just a few months before he moved on himself. Courteney Monroe, head of marketing, took over and remains in charge.

This year has seen the “TV guys” finally take over for good: the acquisition of nearly all National Geographic’s assets was announced in September. Fox, for years the dominant partner in the supposedly equal relationship, would no longer be subject to the Society’s eccentric board. National Geographic Television still exists, though people interviewed here speculate that it won’t for much longer.

Funny. Murdoch’s crew still hasn’t learned how to do the Web after wasting 10 figures on MySpace. The NatGeo folks never learned how to do TV. Something that has only been codified in How-To books for a half-century. So much of our media/communications culture – always described as dynamic – can’t get out of its own way.