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Media Buzz

Donald Trump punching back

This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," July 5, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the buzz beater this Sunday, I talk to Donald Trump about seizing the media spotlight, taking on the press and the pundits.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I do punch back. I believe in punching back. But, you know, those are people that I don't think of have treated me fairly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Taking on NBC where he starred on the "Apprentice" for dumping him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I think that, you know, they protect Brian Williams and he went around lying and telling the things that weren't so and I think probably he shouldn't be on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: And challenging the way he's portrayed by the mainstream media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: All of a sudden I'm a racist. I'm not a racist. I don't have a racist bone in my body.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Have news organizations underestimated the bombastic billionaire? My exclusive sit-down with the Donald. And Hillary Clinton's campaign playing role put though put the press? Is they determined to keep them at a distance?

Most of the media embracing the legalization of gay marriage and the crusade against the Confederate Flag, but are they marginalizing those who disagree as bigots?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conservatives Americans find themselves somewhat demoralized as they see the Supreme Court siding with the left and the national news media promoting liberal causes on a daily basis.

RACHEL MADDOW, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW HOST: If we use the five stages of grief to gauge how red state America feels today after enduring a week of some of the biggest liberal victories in modern American history, it would appear that deep red states are still toggling roughly between denial and anger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Plus, Facebook blocks a web site from promoting an investigative report over a single bad word. Does Mark Zuckerberg's empire have too much power? I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."

Donald Trump has dominated the coverage of the presidential race this past week. First, NBC and Univision dumped Trump over his comments about Mexican immigrants. Now Macy's and Cerda (ph) and NASCAR have done the same thing. Trump fighting back suing Univision for $500 million and urging the public to boycott Macy's.

What's telling here is how the media keep framing this as a damaging story for the GOP or keep asking other republican candidates to comment on Trump. As our Fox News producer did yesterday in New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Governor Romney weighed on Donald Trump's comments in immigration today and said it hurt the republicans.

JEB BUSH, U.S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I think too.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you think it hurt the Republican Party?

BUSH: He's doing this to inflame and to incite and to get to draw attention which is it seems to be his organizing principle of this campaign. And it doesn't represent the Republican Party or its values.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: We'll hear from Trump a little later. But joining us now, Jim Geraghty, contributing editor at National Review. Christina Bellantoni, editor-in-chief of Roll Call. And Mara Liasson of National Public Radio, a Fox News contributor.

Jim, are the media turning a Donald Trump problem with Hispanics into a Republican Party problem with Hispanics?

JIM GERAGHTY, NATIONAL REVIEW CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Yes. For them this is a refer. For starters, it takes a very complicated story complicated issue. It does the U.S. really get benefits from mass largely unskilled illegal immigration. And boiled, take away all that in terms of an individual. Do you like Donald Trump or not? Is he racist or not?

Then of course, it gets to the rest of the Republican Party as the bunch of xenophobic racist, you know it. Well, look at what Donald Trump said. Clearly, he speaks for every republican. And then the third angle is, you get to go to Jeb Bush and say, why don't you guys go fight.

You know, take the figures and kind of make them bash into each other. Let's get the destructive part of the republican presidential primary started as quickly as possible.

KURTZ: Well, the media have a long history because, why don't you guys go fight. But Jeb Bush is he's telling initially put out a mild statement about Trump. So, this is more than a week ago. But when reporters ask about a candidate something about again and again and again, are they trying the candidates to raise the decimal level to make noise?

CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, ROLL CALL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Of course. We're trying to make the race more interesting. And there's one thing you can say about Donald Trump, he's interesting to cover. And the candidates are treating him as if he's a political threat because he is, I mean, you see the poll members that we all study all the time. People know who he is.

But what's interesting to me is that the candidates are allowing the media to do this when you could just say, here's someone with no political experience and here's mine. I mean, that's sort of the standard deflection of a candidate you're trying to dismiss.

And so, to get into this and then try to take him down a peg when you know it's going to come up again in a debate. And then you're going to have to be responding and potentially if you win that primary, then how you're going to have to moderate once you're in a general election.

KURTZ: Right. Nobody is forcing these candidates to answer these journalistic questions in a certain way. Let me just mention that Trump put out a statement last night. Jeb Bush proves he's out of touch with the American people, says Donald.

He doesn't understand anything about the border. He says immigrants should come here. They come here out of love. And finally, he says, Jeb is mischaracterizing my statements only to inflame. So, by our front page of Washington Post stories is Trump's outlandish rhetoric is proving to be dangerously toxic for the GOP. But why for the rest of the GOP?

MARA LIASSON, NPR NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: But, you know, I did this story this week and I've been thinking a lot now that I have to comment on the press about what I was thinking in my head. First of all, the Republican Party has a long standing well-documented by the RNC problem with Hispanics.  They need to reach out to them.

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Notice on that...

LIASSON: Along comes Donald Trump...

KURTZ: Yes.

LIASSON: ... who is now, as you said, number two in the polls nationally, Iowa and New Hampshire, and he says outrageous things, which offends Hispanics to the point where big, big marketers drop him. Why? Because Hispanics are one of the most important segments, market segments.

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Withdraw that.

LIASSON: And so, in my story, I say, you know what? He's a republican. The other candidates should comment on this. And because of the party's problems, because of the prominence that he has at the moment. That was my thinking.

However, you raise a pretty good point. Because I've been rethinking it all week. Maybe he's just a clown. Maybe he's just a big bombastic guy that has nothing to do with the Republican Party. But I still think that if the republicans want to make this resolve a moment out of it, differentiate themselves from him they could have, they did, some of them in a very mild way.

KURTZ: I'm certainly not saying he's a clown. I am saying he's not an established republican.

LIASSON: Yes.

KURTZ: So, I raise the question about whether everybody should have to be forced to comment on this.

BELLANTONI: Yes, he will standing on a debate stage with these other candidates.

KURTZ: Yes, he will.

BELLANTONI: They ultimately going to have to comment on it one way or another.

GERAGHTY: If he's in the top 10.

KURTZ: He'll be in the top 10.

GERAGHTY: OK. But there's this. He stands to constantly gets plays. You know, when Alan Grayson, who's running for senate down there in Florida, remember, the House of Representatives says something outlandish and bombastic. Does anybody run to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders say, what do you think about what Grayson said, don't you think that represents something bad for the Democratic Party? You never get those kinds of questions for democrats.

BELLANTONI: Well, certainly that's the kind of question Roll Call would ask when you're covering the Senate races. But you are seeing Hillary Clinton being forced to move to the left by some of the things that, you know, Bernie Sanders said.

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Right. We're going to come back to Trump and the way in which he and the other republicans are covered. Before I move on I want to talk about this scene in New Hampshire yesterday. We can put it up in a big box. Talk about rope a dope.

I mean, here are reporters following her in a 4th of July parade. And you can see the rope line it keeps moving as reporters are being literally fenced in by her campaign aides. One journalist who was not particularly upset about this was NBC's Kelly O'Donnell. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY O'DONNELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton walking at more of an aerobic pace in this parade and this rope has been used to try to keep people moving to keep that pace. It's full with security; it's hard to keep her dope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)  

KURTZ: The symbolism not great there?

BELLANTONI: Of course not. I mean, it's like you're keeping the press penned in. I will play a little bit of devil's advocate here. You're covering Barack Obama at the Iowa State fair, for example, in 2007. I mean, that was not only a circus but voters are turned off by it. Right?

If you're the campaign and you recognize that you've got 500 people around you and big cameras that are knocking into people and you can't even see the candidate or get a picture or ask a question.

KURTZ: Yes.

BELLANTONI: You don't want that optic. But that is not the optic that you want either especially when it reinforces the mean people already think that you're not talking to the press.

KURTZ: Right. I mean, to be fair, I've been roped off or cordoned off at lots and lots of campaign events but never seen one that was actually moving. All right. Let me turn to what has dominated the news since the Supreme Court move. Liberals pretty happy, ecstatic some would say over the ruling on gay marriage now legal in all 50 states.

The ruling on ObamaCare. Public opinion kind of turning against the Confederate Flag. And let's a look at how cable news at least handled some of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

MEGYN KELLY, "THE KELLY FILE" HOST: Now folks say, how can you deny him the right to marry the person he loves?

TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Look, no one denies him the right to live as they please living with one another. And for Christians for Evangelicals, those who follow the bible, this is not an issue that can be negotiated away.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: The religion base sounds like it's gearing up for World War III on this issue. Are you worried about our religion being outlawed?

(CROSSTALK)

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I'm not worried about the state outlawing religion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: What message is the overall media coverage send to people who happen to oppose gay marriage? The 70 percent of the by the way.

GERAGHTY: Sure. Earlier this week as Ben Smith of BuzzFeed told his old employer at Politico, we firmly believe on a number of issues there are not two sides. Now, if you want to be that kind of a perspective, that's perfectly fine. Don't pretend you're unbiased to them. Don't pretend that you're objective and non-part of the left.

But on this issue the press has decided one side is effectively illegitimate. That one perspective is effectively evil. They'll be neutral on all kinds of different issues. Sure we are law, ISIS, de Castro regime in Cuba. We're not going to take a side on that one. We're not going to seat on one side of evil on this one Castro issue. But on the issue of what you -- if you oppose two men getting married or two men getting married, we will call that out as evil.

KURTZ: On the other hand, Mara, are some conservatives including here on Fox pushing a narrative that the Supreme Court ruling could threaten religious freedom, lead to legal polygamy and other some sort of slippery slope of it.

(CROSSTALK)

LIASSON: Yes. I think there are over reaction on both sides. I mean, first of all, the Supreme Court is important. It tells you what the law of the land is. Marriage equality, same-sex marriage, whatever you want to call it, is now the law of the land. And conservatives are now going to have to adjust if there are examples where people are forced to do things that are against their religious beliefs, there will be big controversy about it.

KURTZ: So, it's fairly come to that side as well.

LIASSON: Absolutely.

KURTZ: OK.

LIASSON: Absolutely.

KURTZ: But, you know, this is not about what I think about marriage. It's what I think about balanced journalism. And I can't remember another time in my career where I felt that the coverage has been so one sided for a position that until three years ago, Barack Obama held, until two years ago Hillary Clinton held, which is that they were for traditional marriage.

BELLANTONI: Sure. You can see this even in your own Facebook feed. So, many people turning their profile picture rainbows and they're journalists. When I worked at PBS News Hour, one of the things we always did was you would present both sides of an issue, right, every single topic.

And two years ago, when the DOMA decision came down, it was incredibly difficult to find anyone who would speak on the opposition of gay marriage side on television. Because people had said to us we understand we have lost this argument. No matter what's have happened in the courts years later, we're not going to go out there and stand by it.

And so, that's one reason why the media coverage is bias because it's more difficult to present that side because people aren't willing to stand up and say it. When you try to find statements, there's a handful here and there. You can find protesters outside of the court but it is a difficult thing. Even the leaders in Congress...

KURTZ: Right.

BELLANTONI: ... are saying, well, I don't agree with it. It should be state's rights.

GERAGHTY: Yes.

BELLANTONI: But they're not going to go out there and make this their issue.

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGHTY: Yes. If you release just rerun the footage of Obama telling Rick Warren that he believe that marriage between a man and a woman, will that stand as an anti-gay marriage position?

(CROSSTALK)

LIASSON: What happens if it became settled law and settled beliefs, do we have a white supremacist on every single time we talk about the civil rights? No.

KURTZ: But let's broaden this a little bit. So, we have gay marriage. We also have this movement led now by republican governor in South Carolina, Nikki Haley to take down the Confederate Flag, I should say.

And even, you know, Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner. Some people are offended by that. And so, if you are somebody who is on the opposite side of all these questions, do you feel that some people feel marginalized by the media culture and the way these are approached?

GERAGHTY: Well, OK. The polling for gay marriage is saying about 55 percent of the American people support it and something of our neighborhood are 30 or 40 percent are opposing it. You use to compare that 30 to 40 percent to white supremacists. You just said it was on part with that. We don't need like to represent that size so why would we be happy to represent the anti- gay marriage side on that way?

LIASSON: I'm not saying that. I'm saying at some point just speaking on Christina's comment where it's hard to find people on the other side. At some point public opinion tips so far...

GERAGHTY: If its 30 to 40 percent of the public why is it so hard for the...

(CROSSTALK)

LIASSON: It has to be. It's so hard on gay marriage. It certainly has tipped that far in civil rights. And you know what? It wasn't hard to find people who were opposed to the Supreme Court decision. They were plenty of them who are running for president on the Republican Party.

KURTZ: But, Mara, is there an implication just briefly in the tone of the coverage that if you are on the other side of this question, particularly gay marriage, that you are a bigot?

LIASSON: I think that would be really, yes. There's no doubt there is that, but that would be very bad because of the -- yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BELLANTONI: And some of the comments. But part of the great thing about this country is that you're allowed to feel however you want to feel. We do have freedom of speech. You can talk about that and the media needs to show people and the way that they feel about things.

KURTZ: All right. I think we have an agreement on that last point. Send me a tweet @howardhurtz weigh in on Trump and these other subjects. Gay marriage. We'll read some of them a little later. At headlines, who's in conversation with Donald Trump. Why does he keep denouncing the pundits he doesn't like? But when we come back, Chris Christie jumps into the presidential race and most of the press practically writing him off.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: There was a time when Chris Christie was the media's favorite republican but when he announced for president this week, the pundits found different ways of saying he has a snow ball's chance in hell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're going to get what I think whether you like it or not or whether it makes you cringe every once in a while or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of your fellow republicans really urged you to run and you declined. And some of those republicans now look and go, that was his moment. Do you worry that you can't capture that genie and put him back in the bottle?

CHRISTIE: No. Because here's the most important thing, in 2011 and '12, I was not ready to be president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: I love the diner interview. So, Christina, a couple years ago, the media were kind of hailing this guy as brash top talking, candid, blunt even when he told the reporters they were stupid. And the attitude now?

ELLANTONI: Well, I'm thrilled he's in the race, right? He's definitely interesting to cover kind of like Trump. But also the thing that I love about this is that we forget every time, it is about actual human beings and how they interact with these candidates and Chris Christie is good with human beings.

Whatever state he's going to go in, voters like meeting him. The press is going to continue to cover him this way and the democrats are going to try to make this a huge deal. He has plenty of scandal to follow. But he certainly has a path to the nomination and he should be treated more seriously than he was treated...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Well, he should be treated seriously. The chief scandal of course, was the George Washington Bridge traffic snafu nightmare. Three of Christie's aides and appointees have now been indicted but it was found by a couple investigations that he had no advance knowledge. Christie addressed this with Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: Now when they realized that there's no truth to what they said, now they say, oh, he didn't do anything but he created that atmosphere. Well, you know, that's what the liberal media does when rather than saying, I'm sorry, which is what they should say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: The media should say to New Jersey governor we're sorry?

GERAGHTY: I think MSNBC going all bridge gate for a solid month that probably deserves an apology.

KURTZ: I don't think so.

GERAGHTY: Having said that, you know, that Christie defense is, look, I had nothing to do with this. I just hired terrible people who have terrible judgment and like to imprison kids on school buses. I have nothing to do with that. I just have terrible judgment in selecting staff.

The reason Christie has gotten kind of largely overlooked in this is, do you remember back when Ted Cruz announced he was running, this is back in the Mesozoic Era, well, it feels like it's been, you know, a year since then. And each, you know, he got a good week of coverage. Then Marco Rubio got a good week of coverage, then Rand Paul got a good week of coverage.

KURTZ: So, he's number 14.

GERAGHTY: What are we up to 9,000? 8,000? They're just, you know, it's a crowd now.

KURTZ: Well, I say that's less important. Because when Scott Walker officially announces he'll get plenty of respect and coverage.

LIASSON: Because he's polling number one in Iowa and Chris Christie is under water in his own state.

KURTZ: 30 percent approval in his own state. Christie said, well, they're not happy. He said this on Sunday Fox News interviewed, they're not happy that I'm running for another job. So, it's fair to factor all that in.

GERAGHTY: Yes.

LIASSON: Yes.

KURTZ: He obviously he's not the formidable force that he would have been have been had he run last time or had scandal not happen. But do you agree that the media are kind of acting like he's just going to be a poly blip?

LIASSON: Yes. I think it's wrong to write anybody off. I think it's fair to point out their position in the polls at home and then Iowa and New Hampshire. But, yes, at this point with, you know, 20 and counting, presidential candidates on the republican side is wrong to write anybody off.

BELLANTONI: Don't forget John McCain, right? The press wrote him off multiple times and he did.

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: I know. And he won the nomination in 2008.

LIASSON: Yes.

GERAGHTY: Yes.

BELLANTONI: And Christie, you know, sees that path for himself.

KURTZ: Very good. All right, guys. We'll see you a little later in the program. Up next, Facebook blocks a text site from promoting an investigative story because it didn't like the language. Editor Sarah Lacy will be here.

And later, going one-on-one with the Donald as he declares war on NBC and Univision and thumbs his nose at the pundits who give him little chance as a candidate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: A while ago they said he's not going to run, he's not going to run, then I run. Then he said, oh, he'll never file his papers and I got my papers. Now they don't know what to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: Facebook has become increasingly powerful for news outlets trying to generate online traffic as the tech site, PandoDaily, learned in trying to promote an investigative story on Google trying to harass homeless people in Los Angeles.

Facebook refused to run what the web site had submitted. And joining us now from San Francisco is Sarah Lacy, PandoDaily's editor-in-chief. So, a little paid promotion on Facebook is crucial because otherwise your story never gets into many people's news feeds. How did your folks find out why Facebook turned you down?

SARAH LACY, PANDODAILY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Well, it was interesting. I mean, we only do paid promotion on Facebook when a story is resonating heavily on Facebook. And what was sort of encouraging after all of this hubbub about Facebook being a hub of journalism, 90 percent of millennials are getting their news there, is that this was an elliptical and quiz.

This was a long form investigative story about Google and the homeless. It's resonating when millennials on Facebook, great, let's throw some money behind it and try to get in front of more of them. No. Our ad was rejected for profanity even though there was no profanity in our ad. We got into have to ask loop with different humans and robots over this for several days.

KURTZ: Well, that's what struck me about the write-up was that, some of them might have been robots or algorithms that is supposed to talking to an actual person. But in the story some of these homeless people were quoted as using the f-word another kinds of bad language. But what was the word that set Facebook off?

LACY: Well, it was the b-word and I'm only allowed to say it once. So, I'll reserve it for saying it, Facebook, those bastards.

KURTZ: You were not pleased with the fact -- I mean, you eventually did talk to somebody and you got the ad on. But does this raise the question it can be -- go ahead.

LACY: Right. I mean, but frankly, Howie, we weren't getting an answer. I mean, we wrote back several times saying, you know, no, there's no profanity in this ad and weren't getting an answer. And I think the only reason that ultimately they green lit the ad was because we're Silicon Valley publication a lot of their folks read and we wrote about it.

I mean, if we were a different kind of publication, I don't know if he ever would have got an answer to what word it was.

KURTZ: So, this suggests to me that maybe Mark Zuckerberg's empire is difficult to deal with, hard to get an answer from and as it increasingly becomes a conduit for journalism, why should some mid-level staffer at Facebook be able to say, no, you can't use that word in a story. That's just chilling to me.

LACY: Well, and it's not even mid-level staffers. Its low-level staffers, it's robots, you know, God knows who. I mean, the problem is it's just opaque. It's not that Facebook is good or evil or doesn't have the right to do this as a private company. It's that it's opaque. I don't understand why if they want to be this hub of journalism and increasingly want outlets publishing directly on Facebook, and increasingly want to say they stand for and encourage real journalism, why don't they tell you what the offending word is, so you don't do it again or you make that decision not to be on Facebook.

And given how many people are getting their news this way, it's a little bit scary. I mean, you know, there's a lot of unpleasant things that we see in the news that change the world around us and demand change. I mean, the most famous example, you know, was photos coming back from the Vietnam War.

KURTZ: Yes.

LACY: I mean, if the media cannot get sensitive and borderline disturbing truths out to readers, it's not a great world.

KURTZ: I don't think it should be up to Facebook. Before you go, you just recently switched Pando from a free site to a subscription model, and you say that in calling out the bad actors in Silicon Valley, you don't want to be too dependent on either advertising revenue or participation in conferences from the very industry you're covering. But which is sort of the situation with some of your competitors. So, is that part of your thinking? IS that you want to have some independence?

LACY: Yes. I mean, look, we said to our readers we're sort of a hybrid site. We don't really have a pay wall. But, you know, we unlock certain articles. So, we actually our traffic has increased. Our traffic hasn't gone down with this change which is great. But, ultimately, there's a saying in Silicon Valley either, you know, either your readers or customers or users or whatever you want to call them, is either your product or your customer. And ultimately, we wanted our readers to be our customers and not our product.

KURTZ: All right. Good to see you again, Sarah. Thanks very much for joining us.

LACY: Thanks, Howie.

KURTZ: Ahead, a new batch of Hillary e-mails revealing how she worked the press behind the scenes and who is sucking up. But first, Donald Trump surging into second place. Why is the press underestimating this guy? Trump is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: First the pundits scuffed at the notion that Donald Trump would run for president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O'DONNELL SHOW HOST: He's obviously never going to be the republican nominee for president and he is obviously never going to be a candidate for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Not quite so obvious. Now commentators scuffed at his chances in the 2016 race. But so far, the billionaire has done some of the self-style experts. I sat down with him at his Trump tower office in New York.

Donald Trump, welcome.

TRUMP: Thank you.

KURTZ: Now that you're at second place in the polls. Political and historic recording republicans including Ari Fleischer, the former Bush's White House spokesman, calls you roadside accident. He tarnishes everyone. Irresponsible. Divisive. Hurtful. Does that hurt your feelings?

TRUMP: No. I mean, Ari is somebody that nobody respects; nobody has any respect for him. I'm surprised you even waste your time quoting him. I'm number two. I'm doing well. I'm going up. And people take me very seriously and they call me and they want to meet with me at the top level of the Republican Party. And frankly, I'm the one that's going to bring back health to the country. I'm going to make America great again. Politicians aren't going to do that. And everybody takes me very seriously.

KURTZ: You are constantly denouncing some journalists who write about you and talk about you. Let me run through it. NBC, Martha Raddatz, unprofessional and bias, you say. NBC Chuck Todd, a real loser. National News Jonah Goldberg, dumb as a rock. Columnist George Will, a total dope. Fox's journalist Charles Krauthammer, a totally overrated clown. I don't think you really believe that. I think that they criticize you and your instinct, you know, like a boxer is to punch back.

TRUMP: Well, I do punch back. I do believe in punching back. But, you know, those are people that I didn't think have treated me fairly. A while ago they said, he's never going to run. He's never going to run. Then I ran. Then he said, oh, he'll never file papers and I filed my papers.

Now they don't know what to say and then all of a sudden I get these really big poll numbers and they're really good. Although I think they're going to go higher because I really think people agree with what I'm saying at the border and just agree with me period. So, I think they are going to go to majority...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Is there a payoff for you in picking fights with not so popular media?

TRUMP: No, it's not a payoff. Look, I like people that treat me well. I don't have to be treated perfectly. And I just want to be treated fairly. They were unfair. They don't call me. They don't mention anything. Martha Raddatz was acting like, oh, this must be a mistake. It must be a mistake.

You know, I built a massive company. I've had number one bestsellers. I've had the art of the deal which is just about the biggest business book of all time. I had tremendous success on television with "The Apprentice." I went to the Wharton School of Finance and I was a really good student it's one of the hardest schools in the world to get into. And then they treat like, you know, like why is he here?

KURTZ: Speaking of "The Apprentice" NBC this week announcing its severing its relationship with you over your comments on Mexican immigrants. First of all, why -- when you hit back on NBC why did you drag Brian Williams into it?

TRUMP: Well, I think that they protect Brian Williams and he went around lying and telling things that weren't so and I think probably he shouldn't be on. But, you know, that's up to him. I actually think he shouldn't have done it to be honest. I think he should have gone someplace else. But it was just something that I thought it was appropriate. You know, you could bring up other names, too.

KURTZ: Does it tarnish you that a bit that this network that you partnered with so successfully over the years now says, you know, it's protecting, preserving its dignity by not doing business with you anymore.

TRUMP: Well, they were very unhappy because we had a great season last season with "The Apprentice." They had a 2.4 rating was reported and we did very, very well. They were very unhappy when I ran because when you run you're not allowed to, as you know, do a show.

KURTZ: Right.

TRUMP: So, they were not happy with me, I will tell you that. And then when they saw the last week or two the poll numbers so strong, you know, they figured well, I'd run now get out fast and still do with the show. When they saw my poll numbers, one of them actually called me and said, wow, you're not getting any time soon, are you? And you know, they renewed the "The Apprentice."

KURTZ: Right.

TRUMP: This was renewed and they thought I would do it. And I can't do that. I want to make the country great again. I can't do that if I'm doing "The Apprentice." So, they were not thrilled with me.

KURTZ: On the Mexican comments, why not say, maybe I went too far? Poor choice of words or even, I'm sorry.

TRUMP: I don't have to say that. Look, the Mexican border is a sieve. People are pouring through our country -- into our country. We don't know who they are, where they are, they come from all over the world. Not Mexicans. I employ thousands of Mexicans. I've employed over the years many thousands of Mexicans.

KURTZ: Right.

TRUMP: I love the Mexican people. They're fantastic and everybody knows that. But in terms of the border, it's a disgrace. Either we have a border or we don't have a country. You know, you can't have a country without borders. And people are coming in and some of those people -- and I read it even yesterday there was a huge article about the tremendous crime that's taking place. It's like a crime wave. It's one of the most dangerous places on earth. And I bring that up all of a sudden I'm a bad person.

KURTZ: Bill Maher says you're a Frankenstein monster who never apologizes for every crazy think you might say.

TRUMP: Well, he also said I'm here to say, which was actually interesting. So, I brought up the fact that Mexico is killing us on trade. And I mean killing us.

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Why did you use word like rapists?

TRUMP: Well, rapists are coming in. Excuse me, I'll show you an article done...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: I'm not disputing it this question of thought.

TRUMP: So, if you're not disputing it, why not say it?

KURTZ: Because it's the question of your tone and it offended a lot of people.

TRUMP: Excuse me, I read an article yesterday from Fusion, which is owned by Univision.

KURTZ: Right.

TRUMP: Because I'm told and they talked about many of the women that cross the border are being raped. Many of them. A tremendous percentage. Actually it said 80 percent. That's hard to believe it could be 80 percent. But they said the women coming across the border are raped. This is done by Fusion, it was printed in The Huffington Post, no friend of mine.

KURTZ: Right.

TRUMP: And I use the word rape and all of a sudden everyone goes crazy. It says 80 percent of the women, which is hard to believe to be honest with you. But there is tremendous -- so...

KURTZ: I think by in large...

TRUMP: I can never apologize, Howard.

KURTZ: Yes.

TRUMP: I can never apologize for the truth. I don't mind apologizing for things. But I can't apologize for the truth. I said tremendous crime is coming across. Everybody knows that's true. And it's happening all the time. So, why when I mention all of a sudden I'm a racist. I'm not a racist. I don't have a racist bone in my body.

KURTZ: So, I think over the years the press has been pretty good to you as you build your reputation as a worldwide deal maker and builder and TV star. I wonder though, if you're used to the extra kind of intense scrutiny that comes with being a presidential candidate.

TRUMP: I think I am.

KURTZ: Yes?

TRUMP: I mean, I've been out here a long time doing this.

KURTZ: What about when people start running stories about your business background and say -- I know you say you used to law to reduce your corporate debt, say, well, Trump's casino you need to clear bankruptcy about that.

TRUMP: So, let me just say about that. I made a fortune in Atlantic City. I did fantastically. I left about seven years ago and I used the laws just like Leon Black, just like Carl Icahn, just like Henry Travis, just like Warren Buffet, like just everyone else. But when I use the laws you talk about the bankruptcy laws, I use them to my advantage.

I'll buy a deal throw it into bankruptcy immediately and negotiate a great deal with, you know, with the banks and everything else. And, you know, when other people do it they don't mention it. When I do it, they say he used bankruptcy laws. So, I used the laws. I did a great job. I made a fortune in Atlantic City. But I left and actually the financial media gave me great credit for timing because I left Atlantic City seven years ago.

KURTZ: More of my conversation with Donald Trump in a moment including his view on gay marriage, his own marriages and his net worth.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: More now with my interview with Donald Trump. Beginning with why he has been more critical of highly controversial Supreme Court decision.

Every other republican presidential candidate has criticized the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

TRUMP: Right.

KURTZ: You said the court overreached and you can't let it go with that and I think you were sending a message of tolerance.

TRUMP: Well, it could be tolerance it could also like, you know, we have a lot of problems in this country, we have to get back to work. I would have preferred states, you know, making the decision and I let that be known. But they made the decision. And, you know, most of the candidates I think have said, they did make the decision.

A couple are out there very firmly that we're going to fight it we're going to this and then. I would have preferred certainly if it were made by the states, the decision, I thought maybe that's what would have happened, you'll never knew it's like a 50-50 call.

KURTZ: But you're not going to spend a lot of time on this issue.

TRUMP: Look, it's an issue that been determined by the Supreme Court. And frankly, you know, I'm about jobs; I'm about making the country great. I would have liked to have seen the decision differently. And you have another decision ObamaCare, which is a disaster given to us by John Roberts who was appointed by Bush who was pushed by Jeb Bush.

Jeb Bush is the one that pushed John Roberts into that position. And when I look at even the most militant on the whole gay right's decision, the most militant people are saying there's nothing you can do. Because they're talking about constitutional amendments and then they go on to say that that could never happen. So, at a certain point you have to be realistic about it.

KURTZ: What if this gets really personal? I live here in New York in early '90s when the tabloids went haywire over your breakup with Ivana and your relationship with Marla Maples. What if this gets dredged up and people say Trump he's a good role model.

TRUMP: Look, everybody knows me. I've had an amazing life, I built an amazing business and actually they said, oh, he never said what his business worth is. It's actually a much higher than the number I gave.  

KURTZ: What, you're underestimating your worth?

TRUMP: I actually, yes. I actually underestimate it. In fact, there was a case where in Iowa where The Des Moines Register did a story where I actually said, I have stores that have worth more than Mitt Romney jokingly. And the reporter said, can I use that? Because I said it off the record.

KURTZ: Right.

TRUMP: I have a story -- that's why and then they actually used it. I said I don't care, use it. So, the next day, they do a story that, oh, Trump exaggerated. Because, well, then they went out and did a value on the store and the value on the store was many times. It was the Gucci store downstairs.

KURTZ: When you run for president...

TRUMP: And they actually apologized to me which was sort of interesting.

KURTZ: ... when you run for president everything is fair game. You're judged on more than just your net worth or your business success.

TRUMP: I agree, but I will say this. What this country needs and I think the reason I am doing well because I know how to make things better. I know how to make things work. That's what I do. I've taken businesses that are a disaster and I've made them work. And I'll use laws and I'll use all sorts of things. But whatever it takes, I make them work.

I make things better whether it's the Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park which was a disaster and I made it phenomenal or whether it's the golf course in the Bronx that's been under construction perhaps for 31 years, nobody even knows when it started. And I took it over and got it done almost immediately. And Jack Nicholas, the Great Jack Nicholas said, maybe without Trump it never would have been built. That's why I do.

KURTZ: But some in the GOP say, well, Trump's is going to take up space on that debate stage and it could go to someone else who might win the presidency?

TRUMP: Well, you know, I think I would have as good a chance right now as anybody for winning. Because I think people are tired of politicians. They're all talk and no action. And I think that's what's happening. And you know...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: But as president you have to deal with other things.

TRUMP: ... who do you to say this hour, look, I built a great company. Go to the best school. Do great. Number one bestseller. And numerous bestsellers. Tremendous success on television. And then I don't belong on the stage with some governor that did a horrible job or some senator that would did a horrible job? I mean, explain that to me. Why? Because I'm not a politician.

I think people are tired of politicians. I think they're tired of all talk, no action, nothing gets done whether it's IRS or Benghazi or Hillary's e- mails. They talk. I'm talking about the republican -- I'm a conservative republican. I'm talking about the conservative republicans. They talk. Oh, great indignation for one day and then it's all forgotten about. Nothing ever happens.

KURTZ: You've been quoted as saying you have a 10 to maybe 20 percent chance of success. Not great odds. As a business deal you probably wouldn't do it.

TRUMP: No. It's not great odds. I don't know what my chances are. Somebody asked me that, I said, I'm not 10, 20 percent; I'm not saying it's a lock. But I have something that works. I have the expression where I'm going to make our country great again. I'm going to make America great again.

I'm going to do something; I'm going to create jobs. I'm going to take jobs back from China; I'm going to take jobs back from Mexico. By the way, Mexico is the new China. Mexico is killing us. What are we doing? We're losing our base. Our GNP is, think of it, it's less than zero. That means we're getting smaller. And all these other countries are growing like weeds. So, they underestimate...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Presidents don't run the economy. You know that.

TRUMP: Oh, I think the president has a lot to do with the economy. Absolutely. I mean, the trade deals. The new trade package is a disaster. The president has everything to do with the economy.

KURTZ: Also has to deal with Congress and also have to deal with...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Sure. And that's part of being a leader. You have to get them to do what you want them to do.

KURTZ: Donald Trump, thanks very much.

TRUMP: Thank you, Howard.

KURTZ: ... here in Trump hour. I first interviewed Donald Trump in 1987 when he flirted with running for president. He said then, this country has been ripped off. He has been delivering this message for a long time.

Coming up, our panel weighs in on the Trump. And the USS cable combat strategy working. And later, what Hillary Clinton's e-mails tell us about her spinning of the press.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: After my interview with Donald Trump, it's worth noting that many pundits were rather dismissive on the day he jumped into the race.

LIASSON: I think this is Donald Trump's biggest day and he'll be ignored from henceforth.

KURTZ: Mara Liasson, do you want to revise that remark?

LIASSON: Well, it's so wrong I'm here to say I was wrong. And I'll say it 100,000 times. I was wrong especially after watching that interview. He is not going anywhere.

KURTZ: Right.

LIASSON: He's around to stay. He lives and breathes on TV. It's his medium. And I think that for a lot of republican voters you listen to him and he's saying what they think.

KURTZ: Having covered him in New York, I knew that day that he would get more coverage than you seemed to anticipate. What did you think of the interview especially the way that Trump kind of doubled and tripled down on the Mexican immigrant remarks and instead ripped NBC and Brian Williams. Jim.

GERAGHTY: Well, first of all, Howard, congratulations on getting Donald Trump to come out of his shell. So, he was sort of shy interview.

KURTZ: It was hard. Yes, I had to bring on.

GERAGHTY: But what makes him successful as a candidate and I think probably has a lot of republicans worried, is that he is the bombastic, hyperbolic fearless TV personality who does, you know, he'll do interview with you, he'll do interview with anybody that show up and ask him questions.

And he says, the republicans are worried about sometimes in terribly offensive way. But, you know, it's natural to be concerned about whether we have a secure border. Is it good for our economy? Things like that. Are these trade deals good for us? There's a lot of economic anxiety out here.

And here's the guy who has made it on a scale. I mean, half of New York skyline has Trump written all over it. The man has his own line of ties, his own mattresses, his own board game.

(CROSSTALK)

BELLANTONI: And there's going to be more.

KURTZ: Well, the mattresses aren't going to be sold by Cerda and the Trump cologne will no longer sold by Macy's. But you're saying, look, he has this great appeal as a self-made businessman and a billionaire and all that. But the tone of the coverage and I see that he mentioned media doesn't to reflected it. It seems to pay the guy who's a bomb thrower and extremists because the presidency is not panda tree.

GERAGHTY: If he was he could do it.

BELLANTONI: He plays into that just as much. I mean, think about the television show "Survivor," right? Like the jerk is the one that they love following around on the camera and sometimes that person ends up winning the million dollars. Like this is the game he is playing. And so, the media is playing right into that. Like we like covering it and he knows that and he's using the press to get as much of his name out there as possible.

And if you took any one of those statements that he said, you know, look, I've been a successful business person. I went to Wharton and you put me up against an unsuccessful senator and unsuccessful governor and if you poll tested those just call people on the phone didn't say who said that? People are going to respond to that. They're going to say, oh, yes, that makes sense. I would like a successful business minded kind of man.

KURTZ: Does it help or hurt Trump when he goes after journalists by name? And I read only a few of them. You know, they're clowns, they're losers, and they're fools. You know, George Will and Charles Krauthammer, two of the people he went after because they criticized him, they are Pulitzer Prize winners.

BELLANTONI: I don't think it's helpful. I mean, if he calls me names I'm sure it would like up my Twitter following or whatever.

KURTZ: Yes.

BELLANTONI: But, you know, now we should never call anybody names and the journalists who cover him should try to cover him fairly no matter what he's saying about that. We get called bad names all the time. We got to have a sake...

(CROSSTALK)

LIASSON: Bashing the press always worse.

KURTZ: Yes.

LIASSON: Bashing individuals is different.

KURTZ: I think he's free to do if he doesn't like what somebody did. But I think it also you were sort of alluding to this, it plays into -- like he knows that in itself will generate coverage and the journalists will respond some of them and it's more and more news cycles, which brings me to the way in which he has just dominated the news in the last week or so.

And so, the conventional media wisdom is this was a bad week for Trump. Back to The Washington Post gave him the worst week in Washington award. Because in conventional terms he's on the defensive over, you know, they include rapists, they include criminals in terms of talking on Mexican immigrants. But by pushing back hard and making the media the issue, I think all of that helps him.

LIASSON: Sure. I think all of that helps him. I think that he's going to stay where he is. He's number two. I didn't see anything about this week that would make him go down from that perch in the republican electorate.

GERAGHTY: There are lot of republicans who believe one of the biggest problems in this country is the media is way more interested in what Jenner is doing or the Confederate Flag than say, the OPM hack, in with which the Chinese government now has all the information about all federal employees everywhere.

The media is a big in republican minds I think well justified. The media is a big problem with the country. And if Donald Trump watch come along and punch him directly in the mouth except when he goes after Krauthammer and my friend Johnny Goldberg and George Will, that's like he's going or the all the anti-Krauthammer republicans running the primary, both of them. One of them his name is Donald Trump.

BELLANTONI: Yes. It's just that he's obsessively following the coverage. You know, the he knows a lot of American who Chuck Thuss (ph)is in Washington.

KURTZ: Yes.

BELLANTONI: But a lot of people don't know who he is. Donald Trump is paying very close attention to the media landscape which shows that he's taking this campaign seriously.

KURTZ: Right. But I think you kind of take Hillary when you said that in the way in which he is really a kind of a brilliant marketer whether you view in his policies or not, when you think he'd be a good president or not. When he -- when he's attacking the media or using the media or playing defense through the media by trying to make NBC or Univision the issue journalist can scuffed be dismissive and say he's not a real candidate. But look who's getting all the headlines and look at all the candidates responding to him.

LIASSON: Yes, well, or trying not to.

KURTZ: Yes.

GERAGHTY: Well, they try that.  

LIASSON: Steve Schmidt who ran on the campaign says to me this week, I put this on the air, he said, sometimes it's like wrestling with the pig. You both get dirty but the pig really likes it. And that's the problem with taking on Donald Trump directly.

KURTZ: We'll see whether the media fascination last and how much publicity Trump can get. I appreciate the chance to sit down on Trump's Tower. Mara Liasson and Cristina Bellantoni, Jim Geraghty, thanks very much for joining us here today.

Still to come, your top tweets, those e-mails on Hillary and the press. The media war over a sex tape and President Obama says he wants to spend more time talking to reporters. Really?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: The latest release of Hillary Clinton's private e-mail reveals many things, including which pundits were sucking up to her. CNN commentator Paul Begala, a one-time Clinton White House aide who helped raise money to help retire Hillary's campaign debt asked for talking points to defend her reckoning and was referred to other State Department officials.

Begala reported back why "I gave Secretary Clinton an A plus in our dopey's CNN report card night." CNN had to report on that little episode this week beginning with what he said back in 2009.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL BEGALA, CNN REPORTER: I'd be shocked.

JAKE TAPPER, THE LEAD SHOW HOST: Shocked.

BEGALA: I have deep personal affection for them. I'm sure that biases me. Wait a minute I'm supposed to hold that up higher, Eric.

TAPPER: You called that a dopey little a CNN segment.

BEGALA: It's the first 100 days of the Obama administration were consumed with the economic crisis.

TAPPER: Right.

BEGALA: Plus, it's not my beat. It seems to me the world was doing just fine with Hillary as Secretary of State. But I didn't know the specifics. I knew I would be asked about them. Who am I supposed to ask, the Koch brothers? I am glad to see that I disclose my personal bias.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Begala is a nice guy. He made it clear he loves Hillary. What viewers didn't know he was getting his material spoon-fed by her aides and that doesn't smell good. Good deed for Jake Tapper for highlighting this.

Then there's the case of former New York Times Les Gelb seeking access to the Secretary of State for his story in parade making this pitch. According to a Hillary fund-raiser e-mail he said, "'He would give you veto, a veto over content and look me in the eye and said, "She will like it.'"

Offering a veto means ceding control to an interview serving it, that's a big journalistic embarrassment. But Gelb denies saying that telling Politico he had Clinton's people check for factual errors and that he made no changes. A somewhat different attitude towards Fox News after being told that a state rep have performed well on a Fox morning show.

Hillary wrote, "Those shows need at least one sane realistic voice is." Wait, is she saying that everyone else is insane? President Obama must have been in an upbeat mood at a news conference this week. He even tried to make nice with the press when one reporter asked about what's been described as his best week ever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: So, I might see if we can make next week even better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another press conference?

OBAMA: I love press conferences. It's my press team that's always holding me back. I want to talk to you guys every day. Sorry, Josh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Mr. President, doesn't the press staff work for you, I mean, you're in charge. You have nuclear weapons. Can't you talk to the reporters who cover you, not BuzzFeed or Box or YouTube or the guy with the WTF podcast whenever you want? I know he was joking, but there's always a grain of truth in humor.

All right. Your top tweets of the media hyping Trump's candidacy, you're holding him accountable. Wayne Watson, "Trump is right, the news here is filled with sexual assault and rape by Hispanics. They act like it's normal to them. Donald and all for goodness sake, Trump is going to help the GOP get off their fainting couches and fight progressive thinking. We're not worried."

Rich Anger, "No one knows how to manipulate the mainstream media better than Trump. He's also touching a nerve in a lot of Americans." Jody Bur, "Real Donald Trump is the media's latest toy of which it will tire soon enough. We'll see about that."

All right. "The media are rallying behind a first amendment cause. They want to see a sex tape. I'm not making this up. CNN, the A.P., BuzzFeed and others pushed to view a sex tape involving Hulk Hogan; you know the wrestling guy, and the ex-wife of his friend, which happens to be at the center of a $100 million invasion of privacy suit filed by Hogan against the web site Gawker, for posting highlights of the tape."

Now Hogan's lawyers asked to keep the tape out of the public view at the upcoming Florida trial. Gawker which admits the suit threatens their financial insolvency says the trial, is not a likely scripted reality television show. This is not a wrestling ring with a pre-determined world wrestling champion."

"We go to such lengths to defend your right to know but the judge ruled against the request this week and the courtroom monitors will be turned around so the private Hulk Hogan will remain private."

That's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I'm Howard Kurtz. We hope you like our Facebook, check it out page, check it out, we post a lot of original content there responding to your questions.

By the way, you can e-mail us @mediabuzz@fox news.com., @mediabuzz@fox news.com. And follow me on Twitter @howardkurtz and we will respond to that as well. I want to hear what you think about the Trump interview and everything else on the program. We're back here next Sunday, 11 and 5 Eastern. See you then with the latest buzz.

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