This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," April 19, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the "buzzmeter" this Sunday, Hillary in a van, Hillary at Chipotle, Hillary eats a burrito, the magical mystery tour across Iowa leaves the media reporting on lots of silly stuff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX SEITZ-WALD, MSNBC: The Scooby van is coming up right here, right behind our camera here.
GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS: Watching those reporters chase her, it was like they were little kids going after an ice cream truck.
ANDREA TANTAROS, FOX NEWS: Was this the best way to connect with a chicken burrito bowl.
MARK HALPERIN, BLOOMBERG: She looks like she's having fun and she's doing her new stuff. We've never seen her get a burrito before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: I guess we haven't. But is she dissing the press corps and have journalists become part of this surreal circus, even as they decry it? A very different media reception for the overshadowed Marco Rubio, as he jumps into the presidential race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: As soon as you go out in the mainstream media, the liberal media, they'll say, why do you have the experience to be president?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC: I'm sorry, that's a little boy and that's an experienced, accomplished woman who's been elected to the Senate twice, who served as first lady, who served as secretary of state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Are news organizations giving the Florida senator short shrift?
President Obama forced to accept a congressional review of any nuclear deal with Iran as he takes Cuba off the terror watch list. Are the media giving him an easy ride?
Plus, the newspaper that knew a protester was going to take an incredible risk, landing his gyrocopter at the capitol. Should the "Tampa Bay Times"
have sat on that story?
And an ESPN sportscaster apologizes for ridiculing a parking lot attendant in what looks like a "Mean Girls" video. Is Brit McHenry's one-week suspension really enough? I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."
It's not exactly breaking news that Hillary Clinton doesn't love the press, so her stealthy rollout in Iowa almost seems designed to leave reporters behind. The secret schedule, the Scooby doo van, the unscheduled fast food stops produced this unedifying schedule.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX SEITZ-WALD: The Scooby van is coming up right here, right behind our camera here, here it is, there she goes, and secret service following behind her. Okay. They're going around to the back, so we're not going to -- you can see the media running behind me here, to chase the Scooby van.
THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC: Wow.
ALEX SEITZ-WALD: And she's going around to the back.
THOMAS ROBERTS: Wow, they're --
ALEX SEITZ-WALD: And we'll see here very soon.
THOMAS ROBERTS: The guy in the orange pants is pretty quick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Jon Stewart, of course, had a field day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, COMEDY CENTRAL: And the news media didn't just cover Secretary Clinton's fast food choice, they went all in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only Clinton sighting came at a Chipotle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's just like us, she eats at chipotle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A security video captured her ordering a burrito bowl. She had a chicken burrito bowl with black beans.
JON STEWART: How many napkins did she take? I bet it was three, could have been four. Tell me. You call yourself a news network.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Joining us now, Ed Henry, Fox News chief White House correspondent.
Kathleen Parker, syndicated columnist and a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a Fox News contributor. So you were out in Iowa --
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You didn't give me credit. I broke the guacamole story.
KURTZ: You had that detail?
HENRY: Yes -- no, I didn't really.
KURTZ: You were out there when everybody was chattering about this and chasing the van. Were you embarrassed to be part of the spectacle?
HENRY: Slightly. I blogged about it on foxnews.com and you can see the full context there, and my major point is, we are covering a candidate, not a celebrity, and frankly, I think, as much as the Clinton campaign at some point, when people are writing about pantsuits and all this silliness, they'll say, oh, we hate this. I'm sure they're behind the scenes saying, this is awesome. Let the media focus on this frivolous nonsense. And no one's asking her about, oh, how's the Russian reset. How is that working out?
KURTZ: How are you supposed to ask about the Russian reset when you can't get within 50 yards of her?
HENRY: I got a little -- in some of her events, I got close to her, but people tried to shout questions at a several points and she wouldn't answer. She's part of this media. She has to realize that she'll have to face some scrutiny.
KURTZ: Kathleen, what on earth explains the media's fixation, obsession with her menu choices, the chicken burrito bowl primary?
KATHLEEN PARKER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: As I watched that crowd running after her, I thought, oh, my gosh, no wonder they hate us. It's so embarrassing. To all of us, I think, who work in the media. But, you know --
KURTZ: Why so?
PARKER: Because, I think most of us would like to be taken seriously, that we take our jobs seriously and we are trying to get to the meat of matters and as long as we're focusing on these silly little details, we look silly.
If there's no content there, if you want to say, well, the candidate isn't giving us anything to work with, maybe we're not working hard enough to push that forward. You know? And I do agree with Ed completely, Hillary Clinton has got to engage some media sooner rather than later. Because otherwise, she looks like she's running from us.
KURTZ: We all had a good laugh at the reporters chasing the van, but if you're out there, and if you don't ask some questions, your boss won't be happy if you missed it.
PARKER: That's right, don't forget, we only have 569 days left before the election. And at some point, she is going to have to answer these questions. And this is a campaign that is designed to do exactly what's happening. For some reason, which I have never fathomed, the public has an insatiable appetite for everything about the Clintons, including what she ordered at a fast food restaurant. But view was not just for the press, it was for people in Iowa. She had to convince she will have to answer those questions; she is at some point going to give an actual speech with actual substance. And from what I understand, her policy positions are worked out.
But a lot of what was happening this week from her point of them that this time she was going to work hard for every vote. Remember she came in third, there's a political strategy, yes.
KURTZ: But Ed, you were interviewing the campaign's top spokeswoman, who came over from the Obama White House, and you were asking her, well, when Hillary is going to talk to the press and what happened?
HENRY: So I had left her first campaign event early to do a live shot for Shepard Smith. And these happened, times you're trying to juggle multiple assignments. So I missed what happened at the end of the first event. And so I'm asking Jennifer Palmieri a half hour later and bottom line she says, she just did a press event; she just answered a whole bunch of questions.
And I said, really, I'm looking at my producer thinking, did we miss something here? And I go inside and ask some of my colleagues who were there at the end and said, she didn't have a press availability. At the end of her staged event, she walked toward the back of the room, towards the media, and basically said, media, I'm thinking about that Saturday night live skit, and said people started shouting questions --
KURTZ: Let's take a look at it.
HENRY: And she just gave her talking points.
KURTZ: Can we roll that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, everybody! How are you? How are you? Welcome! It is, it's fabulous. We're having the best time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PARKER: You know, Hillary Clinton, when she is in a small environment, with a few people, she's charming, she is warm, she has a lot of personality and a lot of pizzazz, but she's just a normal -- just come across as a regular person when she's in that environment, why can't she just project that out to others, and frankly, she should be making friends with the media. The media are not going to not engage her.
HENRY: But you can't pretend that's a news conference, when she comes to the back, and people are shouting questions. My colleagues were asking her things.
KURTZ: It was non-availability.
PARKER: I'm shocked unless she said that tongue in cheek.
HENRY: I think maybe someone misinformed her.
KURTZ: So no speech, no interviews, a little wave, as she walks by. Is the press justified in feeling dissed here?
PARKER: Well, it's early. It's very, very early, and maybe she wants to kind of get her legs, you know, as she's getting out on the campaign trail initially, but she will be making a huge mistake if she doesn't engage the media as someone like George W. Bush did I mean, you know, Ed, when you're on the plane with the president or with a candidate, that's the time to sort of make this -- she's going to have to do that. And I would argue that the people she's hired are all press friendly handlers. As opposed to the people she used to have around her who hated us --
HENRY: Shall remain nameless.
PARKER: Shall remain nameless and hated our guts. These people, there's been dinners, cocktail parties, off the record, with lots of reporters to basically just establish diplomatic relations.
HENRY: I've been to one.
KURTZ: Everybody's playing nice. The candidate herself, you say she wants to reconnect --
PARKER: She's going to have to follow through. She's going to have to show she's going to deal with the press differently. Now, I don't agree that our agenda, which is, we want her to give a meaty, substantive, hour-long press conference every day and answer all our questions --
PARKER: Her agenda is I'll do it when I'm ready. And guess what; she's accomplishing exactly what she wants to --
HENRY: But we shouldn't just go along with her.
PARKER: I totally 100% agree.
HENRY: And what I will say in fairness to Secretary Clinton, it is different for her at least at the start for her compared to a Marco Rubio or Rand Paul, who is trying to introduce them to the public. Everyone sort of knows Hillary Clinton. She doesn't need to do a news conference on day one or go on the "Today" show on day two like the other candidates who need that free media. However, she can't be off the hook for long-term here, saying, I'm just going to give you the hi man.
KURTZ: Did you know when she was going to arrive in Iowa or leave Iowa? So you could be in the right place?
HENRY: The days bleed into each other, but I think Wednesday night was the second night in Iowa and I asked the campaign, so is she taking the van back? I heard she was flying back, and they wouldn't confirm to me whether she was flying back or taking the van, which I'm not sure why...
KURTZ: It's a state secret.
HENRY: She wanted to go out and meet real people so take the van or tell us if she's taking the van. Then I said, well she's leaving tonight right?
Because I was flying back to DC, and I didn't want to leave her behind in Iowa in case she made news or something, and they said, can't confirm whether it's Wednesday night or Thursday morning, they wouldn't tell us.
KURTZ: I'm just trying to get behind the scenes notion. Just want to know where she is. So Maureen Dowd in "The New York Times" today said that Hillary Clinton can't figure out how to campaign as a woman. Last time she overcompensated and campaigned as a masculine woman, now a sweet, docile granny. Are we in for a year and a half of psychoanalyzing the gender aspect of her candidacy?
PARKER: Probably. But you know what, why do we have to pay attention to that? Everybody has to write about something. She is approaching the issue of gender differently. There's no doubt about that. I don't think she's overcompensating. She is a grandmother now. Back then, she didn't make being the first woman president a big deal. Now it's absolutely implicit.
KURTZ: And Kathleen, you write in your column which I read today, if you're against Hillary, you're depicted as a self-loathing, anti-woman traitor and one woman wrote to you or posted a comment saying, you should trade your ovaries for testicles.
PARKER: That was delightful. I wrote an entire column around that with some writer's remorse this Sunday morning, I must say. But there is a sort of sense among republican women that they don't really count when it comes to electing the first woman president. It's only the certain kind of woman president. And this comes about as a result of, you know, 30 years of Emily's list advancing only pro-choice democratic women. And there are plenty pro-choice republican women.
KURTZ: What about the traitor charge?
PARKER: Oh, that you are a traitor if you don't support Hillary? I'm telling you, there is a huge, huge pressure wave out there to get onboard or get out of the way.
HENRY: And I wonder if some of the women writing to you realize, there's another woman in the race, by the way. Carly Fiorina, and she's anti- abortion, doesn't fit in with other, perhaps other women who are writing into you on twitter.
KURTZ: Let me get a break in. Remember to send us messages on twitter. I'm @Howardkurtz. We'll read some later. And you can e-mail us, email@example.com.
When we come back, another candidate in the presidential arena this week, why was Marco Rubio so overshadowed by Hillary.
And later, ESPN east Brit McHenry caught on tape berating a towing company attendant. Should she have lost her job?
KURTZ: In the wake of Hillary hoopla, Marco Rubio jumped into the presidential campaign this weekend and did a round of interviews, including one on the "Today" show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your fellow republicans have been very critical of President Obama over the last six years on domestic policy and on foreign policy. And I know you've heard the chorus. Some in your party said, we should have never elected a first-term senator, and here you are, six years later, a first-term senator.
Do you expect them to change their tune?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there's a difference between Barack Obama and I, and I think our histories are much different. I served in local government; I served in state government for nine years in the third largest state in the country. I was the speaker of the Florida house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: That's certainly a fair question. Kathleen parker, has Rubio gotten a modest amount of coverage this week, because of Hillary, we went a day after, or because his poll numbers aren't great in the presidential race and the press has collectively decided to be skeptical of his chances of winning the nomination?
PARKER: I think they're strictly Hillary-obsessed and they're missing, as Jon Stewart pointed out, a very important story. And it has to do with the fact that we have this young son of immigrants, Cuban immigrants, who's coming from, as you said, one of the largest states, and he's a big character in politics. Not even -- not just now, but for the future. So, I mean, the fact that we have ignored him, essentially, really speaks poorly of the media, I think. There should've been at least a few out there who say, you know, this is important. Marco Rubio may not become the president, necessarily, but his candidacy signifies something important.
HENRY: I would argue, he was pretty effective, Rubio, in positioning himself there, because he's sort of in between Hillary Clinton's first event Tuesday, her first event on Sunday, and said, there's candidates of yesterday and I'm the candidate of tomorrow. He was doing a two-shot at the Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.
PARKER: Also playing off of Bill Clinton's campaign, back in the early '90s. You know, here we are, and we can't --
KURTZ: Commentators can say whatever they want. That's what they're paid to do. We showed the clip of MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski saying, Rubio looked like a little boy next to the very experienced Hillary Clinton and of course she's liberal and make no bones about that. Did that strike as...?
PARKER: If the same commentator had been made about by a male commentator about a young woman, a young, brash, talented woman, there would have been tremendous pushback, saying she's too young, versus some older, experienced male candidate. I think that would have been a real problem.
KURTZ: Yet there's been virtually no backlash.
PARKER: Well --
KURTZ: A little bit, but not --
PARKER: I agree. I think that was out of line, but it's her opinion.
KURTZ: It's her opinion, that's fine.
PARKER: The thing about Rubio, he got coverage. He was overshadowed by Hillary Clinton. On the other hand, all of the second-tier republican candidates have suffered. Ted Cruz is a young, eloquent, son of immigrants, first-term senator.
KURTZ: He has that first week. Let's talk about the kind of coverage, Ed.
Rubio released a tax plan this week and it's gotten almost no coverage.
What did bounce around the net was "The New York Observer" getting a high school photo of him doing a Chippendale skit wearing no shirt. But shouldn't we focus on issues a bit more?
HENRY: We should. And now with the internet and tweets, everyone wants to do something that's going to get little clicks. The goofy photo of Marco Rubio got more clicks than the tax plan. That's unfortunate. We're not going to completely change that, but we should do a better job of focusing on the substance. I should also say in Hillary Clinton's defense, she's going to get beat around on some of these issues, I mentioned Syria and the Russian reset. But the question Matt Lauer asked in fairness, that's a substantiative question that a lot of these candidates will have to answer.
They all have beaten up on Barack Obama for six years plus about no experience, and they have very little experience. You can say Hillary Clinton did an awful job in Benghazi, Syria, you name it, but she's been in the arena. She's got a better resume.
KURTZ: That's not a quote, liberal media question. Three first-term senators and they all have to deal with that.
PARKER: It's also very early.
KURTZ: Very early.
PARKER: The media don't want to exactly pin down these issues so early on.
And you know, as time passes --
KURTZ: I'll ask you the same question in six months. Kathleen Parker, Ed Henry, thanks for stopping by.
Ahead, a Florida newspaper sits on a story about that guy who landed his gyrocopter at the capitol. Was that a reckless decision?
But up next, ESPN's Brit McHenry suspended for one of the meanest tirades I've ever seen. But should that affect her job?
KURTZ: This one just made me cringe. ESPN sportscaster Brit McHenry may be pretty poised on camera, but after her car was towed in Arlington Virginia, McHenry belittled a poor parking lot attendant which can only be described as it was captured on tape and posted on a site called lively as a "Mean Girls" video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I have a degree. Do you feel good about your job? I could be a college dropout and do the same thing. Why, because I have a brain and you don't?
Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me huh?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: "Honey". McHenry apologized on twitter. "In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I'm so sorry for my actions. I will learn from this mistake" ESPN has now suspended McHenry for a grand total of one week. Joining us now from New York, Joe Concha, a columnist for media, Joe, before we get to your expert medial analysis, what's your gut reaction watching this tape, watching Brit McHenry is taunting this poor woman?
JOE CONCHA, MEDIAITE.COM TV COLUMNIST: I want to know why I'm only seeing Brit McHenry talking in that situation. I want to see the whole tape, Howie. This was a conversation, clearly, and when the tow company was asked, are you going to release the entire unedited tape, they said, no, they're not going to do it. And I think here there may be two sides to the story. Now, that said, this was deplorable, the way Brit McHenry acted. She represents ESPN 24/7, whether she's on the air or off, there are morality clauses, and the needed to know that. She went over the third rail of insults when it comes woman to woman. She went education, class, weight, and teeth.
KURTZ: I agree with you. That we've only sort of seen half the tape and you're one of the few in the media to raise that. The woman on the other side, Gina Michelle, put something up on Facebook saying is, bottom line, she got towed, and she shouldn't have left her car unattended in another lot to patronize another bar. Be angry or upset, you don't insult someone's looks because you're above them. Even if Gina had been giving it back to her, one works for a towing company, and another one is a TV reporter.
CONCHA: That's true but let's looks at the towing company for a moment; NBC and Washington did a great report that that was just out showing that this towing company has twice as many complaints as every other towing company in the area combined. So they have a history of not having the best, we'll call it, customer service. And you're right. Brit McHenry, again, has to be held to a higher standard. This woman that was working there is a single mom of three, that's the narrative that we heard, but if she was so innocent in this, why not just put out the unedited video and show Brit McHenry going off on her -- it must have been edited for a reason, is my point.
KURTZ: I agree but we're talking about, as you say, a single mom with three kids, working for a towing company. And fox's Ana Perino said she didn't even think the lame one-week suspension should have been applied by ESPN, because Brit McHenry wasn't, "on the clock". You know who else wasn't on the clock, Ray Rice when he punched out his fianc,e in an elevator. OJ wasn't on the clock. Marge Shot who owned the Cincinnati reds, she get suspended by major league baseball for using the n-word. She wasn't on the clock either. If you're in the public eye and in journalism have a responsibility to conduct them have been when they're ticked off, and we've all lost our temper, in some private situation, right?
CONCHA: Howie, those are all excellent examples. You brought up illegal, Ray Rice hitting his partner at the time now wife, brought up Marge Shot, that was a racial slur, ethnic slurs when it came to Donald Sterling. You can go on and on. Racial, Ethnic Slurs, you're gone. That's it. If you do something illegal, yes, you're gone, that's it. But if one person is mean to another person, and we don't know whether both sides are being mean to each other, does that go into a gray area that I don't know if we want to go into. Your personal life is your personal life. And if you're being mean to somebody, we don't know whether she was provoked, is my bottom line.
KURTZ: I don't think Brit McHenry should lose her job over this.
CONCHA: "Chicago Tribune" says she should.
KURTZ: Lots of people can weigh in on this. I just think I don't care if the other person was being mean. You're being paid by ESPN. You're representing them every time she goes on the air now, people will look at her, everyone will think, lose some weight, baby girl. That's a damaging thing to do when you are somebody who makes a living in front of a camera.
CONCHA: And she wasn't a very big name at ESPN. Now she's branded herself as the girl from the video with the towing company. I think she's learned her lesson. She's certainly not going to do this again. But this shows video is everywhere, particularly with phones. These aren't just phones anymore. They're cameras and they're satellite uplinks and you can destroy a career in eight seconds, thanks to youtube. A million people have already viewed this video on youtube.
KURTZ: Joe Concha thanks very much.
CONCHA: Thank you.
KURTZ: Ahead on ""MediaBuzz"," Sarah Silverman was so determined to push for equal pay for women that she wound up peddling a false story.
But first, the media yawn as President Obama takes Cuba off the terror list and congress acts on the Iran nuclear talks. Why aren't these major stories?
KURTZ: It was a striking headline in "The New York Times." Obama allows congress say on Iran. Excuse me. The senate foreign relations committee with every single democrat joining the GOP voted to ensure that congress can review and act on any nuclear deals that the administration reaches with Tehran. White House did get some language softened, but the network newscasts blew off the story and the limited coverage on the morning shows didn't treat it as all that controversial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The White House says President Obama is ready to sign a compromise bill, letting congress vote on a final deal, nuclear deal, with Iran.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A potential nuclear deal with Iran has resulted in a rare somehow of bipartisanship in Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Joining us now to now to analyze the coverage Rick Grenell, Fox News contributor and former foreign policy spokesperson for the Bush Administration and in New York, Julie Roginsky a democratic strategist and also a Fox News contributor. Rick how can this senate committee vote will all the democrats defecting against Barack Obama, be treated as either a non-story or not a controversial story?
RICHARD GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, the Iran issue is very complicated and it's probably too complicated for most of the political reporters. I don't think they understand all of the implications. Look at the news this week of Russian s-300 missiles being sold to Iran, the Yemen peace plan that Iran has now given to the UN which is a joke. Even today, the Iranians are poking fun. All of these issues really directly relate to the Iranian deal, but the media are missing them, because I think we have DC political reporters that are really reporting on this, and they don't understand the nuances.
KURTZ: You also have New York executive producers making decisions about what to put on the air. So Julie, this was a big confrontation between President Obama and congress over what say Capitol Hill would have in any final deal. It was kind of diffused by a bipartisan compromise. Maybe the media are bored by bipartisan compromises.
JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: As you used the expression, leading blood on the floor is much more interesting. What they missed is there was blood left on the floor and it was Barack Obama's. The president drastically opposed congress having any say on this. It started with Senator Menendez, a democrat, former chairman of the senate foreign relations committee who pushed for congressional authorization on the democratic side. That mantel was picked up by Ben Cardin, who took over for him on the senate foreign relations committee, whose democrats really stood up to the president on this. And I think that's the story, in the left, that's talked about in the media, the more people are missing the fact; this is pretty unprecedented during the six years of Barack Obama's tenure.
People really on democratic side did stand up to this president and said, no, congress does not want a say on something in something congress did not want him involved in.
KURTZ: So if Julie Roginsky, a democratic strategist says the president's blood is left on the floor, how is this not a story for the network newscasts? You say political reporters don't understand the nuances of it, but just in terms of the sheer politics of it, it seemed like pretty significant to me.
GRENELL: And they actually got it wrong when you look at it. They were saying there was bipartisan support in congress for the Iranian bill. Many of them were just getting this confused. There was really bipartisan support to say, we want to have a say. And actually, our say is different than the president's say. Look, I have a difference of opinion, because I think it's really dangerous to have the congress trying to get involved in foreign policy. I'm against the Iran deal, I think they should do everything they can, but I actually support the executive branch's ability to put forward. They won the election. Elections have consequences. They should put forward foreign policy. However, congress on the sanctions, congress owns the sanctions policy. To permanently get rid of sanctions, that is congress' business. I think that should have been their plan.
KURTZ: Just briefly, Julie, I want to move on to our other topic. Does the press just not like or care about these sorts of squishy congressional compromises. And of course it has to go to the senate floor and play itself out.
ROGINSKY: I think it's more than that. I think we've been talking about this Iran deal for so long now that people are confused and Rick has a point as to what exactly happened. Look, the reality is, we don't even have a deal. The deal may or may not happen at the end of June, but people act as if we already have a deal and the reality is we don't. I think part of it is confusion. I think part of it is exhaustion, I think part of it as Rick pointed out, a misunderstanding of exactly what's going on and the nuances of it.
KURTZ: Let me play a little bit of the network coverage of the other big foreign policy for this week, involving President Obama and Cuba.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are witnessing tonight another historic step in thawing relations wean the US and Cuba. The White House announcing that President Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four days after that historic handshake with Raul Castro, President Obama took another step today toward normalizing relations with Cuba.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: So, many in the media describing this step as historic, not controversial.
GRENELL: Yeah, and I think -- look, the Europeans have never been -- the Europeans have been engaging with Cuba. They haven't been doing the blockade. So there is this huge nuance that the media are missing in terms of, the United States is the only one that has been blocking Cuba and having this sanctions policy. If the engagement process hasn't worked before, why should it work now? There's a whole bunch of nuances that they should be reporting on, and it is controversial within the United States.
That is a very big story. Let's hear from the Cubans. Let's hear from people who have been dealing with in the negative parts of this policy.
KURTZ: But I wonder Julie, if whether what's really going on is the media treats this as non-controversial, because, the mainstream media have largely embraced President Obama's normalization of relations with the island.
ROGINSKY: Well, it's not just mainstream media; it's pretty much the American public. If you look at poll after poll, it shows that most Americans are speaking of fatigue, fatigued by our Cuba policy and don't put Cuba in the same policy as you would Sudan or anybody else and so -- or for example, Syria or Iran for that matter. So when you have the vast majority of voters saying, enough is enough, and you have the vast majority of media probably agreeing with them and saying, enough is enough, this has been going, as Barack Obama said, since before he was born, it becomes a story that most people just want to move on from Cuba has not been in the news for many years now.
KURTZ: Well, enough is enough for this segment, because we're out of time.
Julie Roginsky and Rick Grenell, thanks for stopping by this Sunday.
After the break, with Hillary Clinton assiduously avoiding the media, how does that strategy compare to what other presidential candidates have done?
And later, is it a newspaper's job to call the cops when a protester wants to call his gyrocopter into Washington's no-fly zone?
KURTZ: How different is Hillary Clinton's carefully choreographed rollout in Iowa from those of other candidates? Joining us now from San Francisco, Jeff Greenfield, a veteran political analyst who's worked for ABC, CNN, and CBS, and Jeff, you've covered a lot of campaigns in your time. How did you feel watching this entire media chatter about the Scooby doo van and chipotle and all the other assorted craziness?
JEFF GREENFIELD, POLITICAL ANALYST: My first reaction is someone who's always loved American politics was to seek refuge in a trapless monastery this for 18 months where there was no e-mail, TV, or newspapers. There was a certain farcical element to all of this. But if it is possible to have any sympathy for any politician, 8 years ago, when Hillary Clinton went to Iowa, there were huge crowds. It was a big rollout and she was criticized for the regalness, the kind of inevitability. And I think what's happened here is remembering the April the year before the election, this is not the definition of her campaign. Your guests were quite right. She is not going to be able to spend the next year or run-up to the nomination, just meeting, "everyday people, and avoiding hard questions". It's different fundamentally, though, A, because she is the presumptive democratic nominee. That may be wrong. And second, she is one of the best-known people in the world and has been for decades.
KURTZ: Let me jump in and ask you this. This whole idea of sort of having -
- politicians like to say; they're having conversations with ordinary people. A lot of candidates -- is that even really possible in an age when lots and lots of cameras are following you around and everybody's on twitter and all of that?
GREENFIELD: I think it is inevitably a contrivance. Did Ronald Reagan spend a lot of time sitting down, "everyday people" Did John Kennedy, did Franklin Roosevelt? It was a different era. Politics and the web have made politics in my view too much a sense of personality driven, as opposed to getting up and telling people what you intend to do as president. No, I vividly remember being in New Hampshire when Pat Buchanan was talking to one poor soul on a freezing street, somewhere in Manchester, surrounded by maybe a hundred reporters. It is inevitably, I think, phony.
KURTZ: You know there's also the question of who controls the message. If reporters had had a crack at Hillary, certainly someone would've asked what the New York Times story this week saying that she had declined to answer back in 2012, when a congressional committee asked her about, did you use a private e-mail server when you were secretary of state? At the same time, you say candidates -- a lot of candidates have done this, but not usually in the first week of a rollout, when you say, hey, folks, here I am, running for president.
GREENFIELD: Look, I think the campaign was trying to figure out a way not to make her seem like the Kate McKinnon caricature on "Saturday Night Live," which, by the way, is far less friendly as Amy Poehler's was, as this power-driven person.
GREENFIELD: Yeah, but I still want to make this point that, two things.
One, depending on where you are politically, people can either look like they're power mad or assertive. You know, Ted Cruz got to the senate in 2013, began running for president before he knew where the light switches were. But if you like Ted Cruz, that's not a criticism. And I do think, by the way, there is a whiff of a phrase I normally don't use. There is a whiff of a sexist attitude about when a woman seeks power. But the more important thing is, in my view, if you're a reporter and don't want to spend your life explaining what the order was at chipotle, what do you do?
I was struck by a really interesting piece in politico by a writer named Michael Cruz who went to this chipotle and interviewed not Hillary but the workers, and did an interesting piece on what is it to work at a place like this? Can you make a living? That's a way you can creatively use on what a politician does without focusing on her pantsuit.
KURTZ: That's a good example of enterprise reporting. Stick around, Jeff, because coming up, should the "Tampa Bay Times" have held back its story about the mailman who risked his life flying his gyrocopter to the capitol until it was almost too late.
KURTZ: The 61-year-old mailman who landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of a capitol lawn is no stranger to his hometown paper. Doug Hughes was quickly arrested for this dangerous stunt told Tampa Bay Times reporter Ben Montgomery about the protest against government corruption last summer.
They posted video of him flying the contraption about an hour before the gyrocopter descended through a no fly zone onto the hill. Montgomery declined our request for an interview but he's defending his handling of the treacherous situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not my job to pull the plug on somebody doing something like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that the pilot understood that he could have been killed doing this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yeah. He knew that was certainly a possibility. He was ready for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Jeff Greenfield is still with us. How does The Tampa Bay Times not alert them until a half an hour before this bozo lands?
GREENFIELD: I can understand what they did, but I think it was the wrong call. Because reporters are told all the time of impending events, some of which maybe even illegal. As a general judgment, it's almost like the rule that applies to someone like a psychiatrist. If you are told of something that's going to be imminent danger, your job as a citizen trumps your job as a journalist. If he said he's going to the capital and drop a incendiary device, I don't think that Mr. Montgomery would have had any problem. If the mailman said I'm bringing 50 people to the capitol and we're going to protest citizens united, I think on that score you go the other way and ok I'll be with you. The fact that the air space in and around Washington is so protected and so guarded should have tipped off the reporter that there was a real danger to Mr. Montgomery, I mean, to the mailman and to other people. At that point the judgment should have been this is too dangerous for us to just let it go.
KURTZ: That is exactly the point, Jeff. Imagine the conversation we'd be having now if law enforcement had shot down Doug Hughes and his contraption as he told the paper he thought very well might happen. Everyone would be saying the newspaper was utterly reckless.
GREENFIELD: Yeah, but, see, where I have some ambiguity is take a reporter who wants to imbed himself or herself in an urban street gang to really understand what it's like. There have been reporters who have done that. If you do that, you know at some point you're going to be privy to illegal acts. Drug deals, maybe even a gang way, it's a little bit more complicated than saying we have to alert the authorities. In this case, I just think it was a bad call. But I understand why the reporter thought he could do it.
KURTZ: It took place of the paper. The secret service was aware of this guy but no one knew when he was coming. I think the Tampa Bay Times handled this the way that it did it because it wanted to preserve its scoop. Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much for joining us today from California today
GREENFIELD: Ok Howie.
KURTZ: Great to see you. Still to come, your top tweets. Why newspaper jobs are bad news and Sara Silverman apologizes for making up a bogus story. Is there a different standard for comedians?
KURTZ: Remember back when Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman made working for a newspaper seem really cool? That was a long time ago. They say the newspaper reporter is the worst job of 2015 ranking number 200 out of 200 behind lumber jack and soldier, which are really risky professions. I say you don't go into newspapers for the money or the prestige. It's a calling.
Time for your top tweets, how would you describe the coverage of Hillary's presidential rollout in Iowa?
WAYNE 1964: The media are like teenager girls in a Bieber concert with Hillary entering the race.
TOMMY: A clown car chasing the Scooby van.
RENARD: Much a do about nothing.
UNKNOWN: Left wing media thought it was a success, typical partisanship.
KURTZ: I think Sarah Silverman is funny but it was no laughing matter when the liberal comedian made a video for the advocacy group and told a specific story about how the owner of the New York comedy club once paid a male comic more money than her for the same work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Todd somehow brought up that he mentioned that he got $60. He just got $60, and I just got $10. We did the exact same time back to back in the same show. And so I went back inside, and I asked the owner, Al Martin, and I said, Al, why did you pay me $10 and you gave Todd Barry $60. It was perfect. He goes did you want a $60 spot?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Except it didn't happen that way. The other comedian had been formerly booked and Sarah was a last-minute fill in. Silverman apologized saying her own fanciful tale is "hardly an example of the wage gap and can only due that very true reality a terrible disservice if I were trying to make it one". And she said to the maniacs who want to use this as a chit against women's issues, I ask that you please don't. Sorry, Sara, you don't get to call other people maniacs after telling a story that you now admit was false. You did the right thing by apologizing and should've left it at that.
That's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz". I'm Howard Kurtz. I hope you'll like our Facebook page where we post a lot of original content. We have feature called your buzz. You ask the questions. I provide the responses. We hope you'll like that page. Check out our home page as well. All our videos are there. You can DVR the show and you can write to us. I ready every email, Mediabuzz@foxnews.com. We're back here next Sunday morning, at 11:00 and again at 5:00 Eastern with the latest buzz.
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