Category Archives: MSM

Jeff Danziger: Headless


A fitting image of the departure of Fox News boss Roger Ailes, the victim of a flurry of sexual harassment allegations from a brilliant syndicated editorial cartoonist:

BLOG Danziger

The latest development in the story from the Los Angeles Times:

Roger Ailes has stepped down as chairman of Fox News, but the fallout from his controversial tenure won’t end anytime soon.

The swift action to oust Ailes may bring a speedy conclusion to a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson against the former Fox News chairman.

But the move could embolden other women to file complaints against Ailes and expose Fox News to lawsuits over the conduct of the once powerful TV executive, legal experts said.

Employment law experts say a settlement or resolution in the Carlson case appears more likely since Ailes resigned last Thursday, although he did so without acknowledging the claims against him.

His departure came after an internal investigation by Fox News parent 21st Century Fox turned up other instances of harassment by Ailes from other employees, including star anchor Megyn Kelly.  Just two weeks earlier, Carlson had filed a lawsuit against Ailes alleging that he had sabotaged her career in retaliation for rebuffing his sexual advances and complaining about a hostile work environment.

Headline of the day: The Fox News frat house


From the Guardian:

Roger Ailes accused of harassment by at least 20 women, attorneys say

Accusations against Fox News CEO have poured in since former host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit, her legal team say, with some claims dating back decades

More on the scandal and a Fox internal investigation  from the New York Times:

Network staff members were acutely focused on Megyn Kelly, who had hinted in recent months she wanted to leave the network. She was one of the women who told Paul, Weiss investigators that Mr. Ailes had acted improperly with her, one of the people briefed on the inquiry said Tuesday.

Ms. Kelly maintained her silence on Wednesday. But as the end of Mr. Ailes’s chairmanship approached, it appeared to embolden other women to discuss their own experiences at the network. Several spoke with reporters on condition that they not be named.

In interviews, several current and former Fox News employees said inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and her sex life were frequent in the newsroom.

The newsroom has been on edge in the weeks since Ms. Carlson filed her suit, one person said. Everybody wants to talk about the drama but nobody wants to talk in the open, the person said.

Headline the of the day: The freak show’s in town


Two screencaps of homepage teasers for stories in the London Daily Mail bring home the spirit of the circus in Cleveland, as seen on the midway.

First, a classic example of sensitivity [story here]:

BLOG GOP Hil

And when it doubt, pack heat [story here]:

BLOG GOP Guns

Headline of the day II: And that’s the way it is. . .


Good for what Ailes us?

Roger, over and out.

A screencap of the London Daily Mail homepage teaser for this story:

BLOG Ailes

Jeff Danziger: Choice 2016


From the nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist:

Uncle Sam, 2016 presidential race, Trump, Hillary, political cartoon

Which prompts a graphic response to a graphic. . .

Trump and why the media can’t beat him

The news media and their critics are full of columns and op ends on the deplorable Mr. Trump, all revealing that The Donald is a sociopathic hustler willing to say anything to keep the attention focused on the man with the orange adornment and diminutive digits.

But all the rant and raving doesn’t change a thing, and Trump remains a genuinely viable candidate for the commander in chief of the most powerful military on earth.

Admittedly, Trump’s viability owes much to the loathsomeness of his opponent, a candidate who, unlike the exuberantly spontaneous Trump, seems to be a product of a calculating artificial speech technology that hasn’t yet managed to find the way to add warmth to its synthesis.

So while you can’t believe anything Trump says, you do somehow get the sense that he believes it, even though it contradicts something he said five minutes earlier.

In other words, Clinton is a cold, calculating liar, while Trump is a passionate impulsive and wholly egotistical liar.

Back to the question

So why doesn’t all that media fact-checking and hand-wringing make a dent in the Donald?

Simple.

Because Trump’s supporters don’t trust the media, save for Fox News, and that only with qualification.

They know that the media really are run by a liberal elite, that “effete corps of impudent snobs” as former Spiro Agnew speech writer Pat Buchanan once described them, those “nattering nabobs of negativity.”

Now having spent our working lifetime moiling in the vineyards of the newspaper craft, we must add that most of the journalists we worked with were good, honest folk who really worked hard to report on matters of vital import to their communities.

But during those same years, we also saw journalism debased as locally owned publications either closed down or were subsumed by conglomerates, more interested in pandering that in community service.

The rise of social media, devoid of any filters, has unleashed both a powerful organizing tool [just ask Hosni Mubarrak if you have any doubts] and transformed a medium of public discourse into the digital equivalent of bathroom graffiti, allowing us to indulge both our highest aspirations and our basest instincts.. . .Occupy and cyberstalking.

Trump, the message of the media. . .

Our new media landscape is a perfect fit for a Donald Trump, a man who, as with most sociopaths, is preternaturally attuned to cunningly manipulating feedback to gratify his own infantile needs.

Trump plays to suspicion and fear, the offers simplistic and easily graspable — and thoroughly flawed — solutions, conveying with them a promise of security.

Trump eagerly lays blame — sometimes, and sadly, quite accurately — at the feet of the media for ignoring or trivializing the deepest concerns of his target “marks.”

To an audience well-primed by their own experiences, Trump can easily brush off all that fact-checking and hand-wringing as simply ploys by the establishment to his pursuit of a White House he vows to use in support of their interests, not those of the establishment elite.

That it’s an elite he was born into is ignored, as is the fact of his irreligious hedonism and his life of serial polygamy.

The Trumpian art of the deal is the art of the sociopath, an art sufficiently refined to overpower the reason and self-interest of his marks.

And then there’s Hillary. . .

Let’s put it this way. If Trump was a little bit more sophisticated he’d beat Clinton in a heartbeat.

esnl won’t be voting for the candidate who, as Secretary of State, pursued policies instrumental in the rise of ISIS, a candidate who refuses to tell us what she was so highly paid to tell the people who brought the country to the brink of total collapse. The kind of folks her own daughter married.

That’s why esnl won’t be picking up either revolver come November.

Report: Evil Empire’s evil umpire on the way out?


The empire in question being Fox News, and the umpire being network creator Roger Ailes.

From New York magazine:

Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James — co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, of parent company 21st Century Fox — have settled on removing the 76-year-old executive, say two sources briefed on a sexual-harassment investigation of Ailes being conducted by New York law firm Paul, Weiss. After reviewing the initial findings of the probe, James Murdoch is said to be arguing that Ailes should be presented with a choice this week to resign or face being fired. Lachlan is more aligned with their father, who thinks that no action should be taken until after the GOP convention this week. Another source confirms that all three are in agreement that Ailes needs to go.

While Gretchen Carlson’s sexual-harassment lawsuit against Ailes sparked the investigation, sources say it has expanded into a wide-ranging inquiry into Ailes’s controversial management style. The interviews are now being conducted at Paul, Weiss’s midtown offices because of concerns that the Fox offices could be bugged, sources say. The lawyers are seeking to interview former female employees of Fox News in addition to current staff. They are also looking into the appropriateness of Ailes’s pressuring employees to speak out on his behalf, against his accusers. For instance, they are focusing on an op-ed written by Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto in which Cavuto called the allegations against Ailes “sick.” As Cavuto is a manager at Fox News (his title is senior VP and managing editor), his comments could be seen as part of a corporate attempt to silence women who would speak out.

21st Century Fox did not respond for comment. Ailes’s spokesperson, Irena Briganti, also did not respond.

Headline of the day: Not-so-great expectations


Form Salon:

Media’s gift to Trump: Low expectations and, therefore, the ease with which to surpass them

When a candidate starts in the cellar in terms of behavior and temperament, there’s nowhere to go but up