Sign in to comment!

Media Buzz

Media turn on Hillary; TV news becomes Trump show

This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," August 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the Buzz Meter this Sunday, the mainstream media, even the liberal pundits portraying Hillary Clinton as badly wounded by the email debacle, especially after her contentious exchange with Ed Henry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Did you wipe the server?

HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What, like with a cloth or something?

HENRY: I don't know. You know how it works digitally.

CLINTON: I don't know how it works digitally at all. And I know you want to make a point. And I can just repeat what I have said.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is this an indication this issue isn't going away for the remainder of your campaign?

CLINTON: Nobody talks to me about it, other than you guys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: But is the press over dramatizing the damage to the Democratic front-runner, and why isn't she doing more national TV interviews?

Donald Trump doing plenty of interviews, driving the media coverage again with an immigration plan that would end so-called birth right citizenship, and he gets grilled by Bill O'Reilly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS: And do you envision federal police kicking in the doors in barrios around the country, dragging families out and putting them on a bus? Do you envision that?

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think they have American citizenship. We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: And even Trump seems surprised that all three cable news networks carried his big Alabama rally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Why don't they just cover me like anybody else? They go the next day and show a clip. Every time I speak, it has to be live. It's ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Ridiculous? Is television giving the Donald too much air time?

A New York Times expose portrays Amazon as a cyber-sweatshop where employees cry at their desks, trash colleagues on an internal system and in some cases are forced out if they develop health problems, drawing strong denials from Jeff Bezos and his well-known spokesman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, AMAZON: People like Jeff Bezos, the founder, and people who have been at the company for 10 or 15 years don't recognize the Amazon that the New York Times wrote about.

CHARLIE ROSE, CBS NEWS: What is it they know?

CARNEY: Well, this is an incredibly compelling place to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Is this solid reporting or a smear against Amazon?

Plus, are the media really going to chase cheaters based on the criminal hacking of Ashley Madison? I'm Howard Kurtz, and this is "MediaBuzz."

Hillary Clinton's strained relations with the press got a whole lot worse this week as her email mess blew up. Many journalists panning her performance at a Nevada news conference where Fox News Correspondent Ed Henry questioned her about the FBI investigation into her private server.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Bob Woodward yesterday suggesting -- and how you're reacted. And Eugene Robinson, a liberal columnist said at the very least you have stone walled and said you should tell the American people, I'm sorry, I was wrong. But instead you've been talking about Snapchat, you've been blaming Republican attacks. Isn't leadership about taking responsibility?

CLINTON: Well, I do take -- look, Ed, I take responsibility. That does not change the facts. And no matter what anybody tries to say, the facts are stubborn. What I did was legally permitted. Number one, first and foremost.

HENRY: Also, two inspectors general say there are hundreds, they believe...

CLINTON: But Ed, you're not listening to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: As Ed Henry mentioned, Washington Post columnist Gene Robinson saying Hillary's email answers are insulting our intelligence, while conservative commentators denounced her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: Everybody knows she's not telling the truth, including people on her campaign. And yet she keeps doing it. It is a painful, painful thing to watch.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: I think she could be doing better, frankly. She has been acting -- well, really servicing that Clinton stereotype of having built a fortress around herself, being isolated. Not giving enough answers instead of being really candid.

ANDREA TANTAROS, MSNBC: I think that Hillary Clinton is a shell of a candidate on the verge of political collapse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: But is the press going too far in suggesting Hillary's campaign ship is sinking? Joining us now, Amy Holmes, an anchor at the Blaze TV, Amy Stoddard, associate editor and columnist for The Hill, and Fred Francis, former NBC senior correspondent now with 15seconds.com. Purely in terms of reporter and candidate, how did Hillary Clinton do, and how did Ed Henry do at that news conference?

AMY HOLMES, THE HOTLIST ANCHOR: It's interesting, Howie, that you used the term performance. Because it seems like the political media is acting more as theater critics and Hillary Clinton getting the Razzie Award for worst press conference for presidential candidate.

KURTZ: Is that unfair?

HOLMES: She obviously did very poorly. But what about getting to the substance of what the email scandal is about? Why did she use a private server, why did she want to evade scrutiny? What's in those emails and what does it say about her as Secretary of State and our national security?

KURTZ: I think reporters were trying to find that out. Fred, a lot of pundits talking about this news conference, we're focusing on her shrug and the way she walked away and what's been widely described as her testy demeanor. Do these things matter?

FRED FRANCIS, FORMER NBC NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: It matters, optics matter. Listen, reporters know in 1994 during the white water incident, she gave a 72-minute press conference.

KURTZ: Famous pink press conference.

FRANCIS: Pink press conference. Here was the awful in orange press conference. In the pink press conference, she was cool, she was unflappable. Reporters know she can be like that. Here she is defensive, she's hiding something. That's the image she is giving. And that's what the reporters are taking away from it. That she is hiding something. She needs to change.

KURTZ: AB, Hillary said as she was walking away, we just saw it there, nobody asks me about the email, it's only you media types. Could she have a point?

AMY HOLMES, THE HOTLIST ANCHOR: If she controls the audiences that she speaks to, yeah. So far they're not really asking about it. But if you look at the numbers in polling, this is a serious issue. If you talk to Democrats privately, this is a serious issue. Some of them are coming out publicly now. Just this week, we heard some comments from Congressman Yarmuth and Senator Nelson, others who are concerned about the appearance of dishonesty, how badly this has been handled. So she can say this is some media-driven thing. Since March, she hasn't answered the central question that Amy raises. Why did you have a private server, what was the intent of it, what was the purpose, does it have classified emails on it.

KURTZ: Interesting that some Hillary aides pointed to a Fox News report on two emails described as classified, but were not marked as classified as helping her defense, although it was classified material in there. One sign that the Hillary Clinton camp might be getting a little nervous about the way this story is playing out was when James Carville surfaced on MSNBC. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUKE RUSSERT, MSNBC: So is all this part of a vast right wing conspiracy thing?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Mostly stupid media people talking, other stupid media people making stuff up and spinning themselves up on something that is not going to amount to a hill of beans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: I'll let you talk about the rest of us stupid media people. It seems like the mainstream media -- Carville aside, has really turned on Hillary, not just on the email debacle but describing her as a lousy candidate.

HOLMES: They have. You're seeing these stories. When it was just Republicans attacking Hillary Clinton over Benghazi, for example, the media could say that this was a partisan food fight. But I think a lot of the media, Rod Fournier who said I was going to vote for her, but after this performance I'm starting to rethink that.

KURTZ: Fournier, a National Journalist said a year ago he even might consider working for her because he is known her as a former Arkansas reporter.

HOLMES: Right. So she's becoming very disappointing to the mainstream media who was intending to support her, at least privately.

FRANCIS: It's now clear to the most liberal of reporters who have been supporting her all along that her email and this email debacle -- her email would have been safer if it would have been entrusted to Ashley Madison, ok? I mean, I make light of it, but the fact is that all the intelligence experts that we have spoken to say that everybody in the world had access to that email server, except the American people, and maybe the FBI. But we don't even know if they'll have access to it.

HOLMES: And what are the consequences of that? We have a candidate, a Secretary of State, who exposed national security secrets all for what, so that we wouldn't look at them?

KURTZ: On your point, Fred, about liberal journalists, the Washington Posts liberal comments Ruth Marcus today calling out Hillary Clinton for secrecy and self righteousness, for of an open later saying can't you do better than this. You know, I reported six, seven weeks ago Hillary Clinton was going to start doing more national TV interviews. This is what her top people told me. Since then, she's done two. One we have seen with Brianna Keilar, and one with Univision. Doesn't that allow the pressure to build up so when she does hold a mini news conference, there are all these unanswered questions that reporters are trying to pin her down on?

STODDARD: Yes, it does. Because the central question as I said before, has not been answered since March. She doesn't want to get into another combative question and answer session like she did with Brianna Keilar over her server. When she holds pressers, she's -- she can go from Ed to somebody else. She can sort of do her funny faces and hands in the air and kind of -- she can stammer and deflect. It's totally different one-on-one.

KURTZ: So you think she's more vulnerable...

STODDARD: In a one-on-one.

KURTZ: Maybe has 15 minutes...

STODDARD: Because they can continue following up.

FRANCIS: In fact, nothing is going to help her. No, nothing will help her unless she makes -- unless she does a complete 180 here. She really has to turn it around.

KURTZ: I disagree, because I think that when the plus side of sitting down with one reporter or let's say five or six or seven anchors and reporters is that people get to see more of her. They remember maybe some of them, why they liked her in the beginning, and she gets to make some kind of news other than responding to email allegations. She hasn't made any news on anything, even though she has given some policy speeches.

HOLMES: There's the complicating factor now of the Department of Justice investigating. So they'll be looking at these pressers, press conferences and one-on-ones to compare and contrast her statements, versus the evidence they have in front of them.

FRANCIS: The reporters who cover her will be forgiving if she says mea culpa, if she changes her strategy here. You know, we tell our clients in
15 seconds, if your strategy is not working, if you've lost the media that's covering you, you've lost.

KURTZ: Well, she is taking a very legalistic approach rather than dealing with the fact that a lot of people have suspicions, as reflected by the polls, about her handling of this. On the other hand, I know there's been a round of stories this weekend, Joe Biden taking a more serious look at running and meeting with Elizabeth Warren. But the fact remains is that she is still a very strong Democratic front runner. Is the press pendulum swinging too far now, AB, in suggesting that, oh you know, she's about to tank?

STODDARD: I don't think that the consensus is she's going to tank. And I think people have been quite honest about the fact that Joe Biden would have an uphill battle if he chooses to run against her as opposed to waiting for her to self emulate and step in at the last minute. However, I have said, and many people have criticized me for saying it, but this may not disqualify her, but if she makes it to the general election, and I think she will, and she loses, it will be because of this email issue entirely.

KURTZ: This, of course, is a self-inflicted wound.

STODDARD: Exactly. And from day one that was a self-inflicted wound.
Talking in legal terms and using jargon and being defensive and having all that bad body language and bad tone of voice is actually in the end going to sink her with voters. It doesn't matter what Ed Henry thinks.

KURTZ: Her campaign described this whole mess as nonsense, disagreement between two agencies over classification. The point is that's a legal defense. It's not a political defense.

FRANCIS: Yeah. Every day reporters want access. The reporters covering Hillary Clinton, whether they're conservative or liberal or right down the line, they need access. They have gotten no access. And her doing an interview with Ellen Degeneres is not access. They're covering this story on the fringes and they're sick and tired of it.

KURTZ: You don't think Ellen is going to drill down on the email?

FRANCIS: Playing footsie with Ellen Degeneres is not going to make air.

HOLMES: And it's not working. The polls show now that the majority of Americans think it was wrong of her to use the private email to conduct state business. And I don't think she can do a mea culpa and answer these questions in a straight forward way because of her original intent.

KURTZ: Is part of this exacerbated by the 25-year history of tensions between Hillary Clinton going back to when she was first lady and journalists who have long viewed her as kind of calculating and defensive?

HOLMES: Certainly. I think that plays into it and their relationship with her people, her handlers, and her spokespeople, who have been very difficult over these years, and you know, sent emails with lots of profanity.

STODDARD: Liberal columnists like Eugene Robinson and Ruth Marcus are not fed up with her history of being a Clinton. They're fed up with the fact that her answers now are insulting and they continue to change.

FRANCIS: Three weeks ago I said on this program that Joe Biden had no chance of getting in the race. I want to retract that if this goes on because that's what's going to happen.

KURTZ: An official retraction from Fred Francis, a good time for me to get a break. I'm sure you have opinions on this. Send me a tweet about our show, about this topic during this hour @howardkurtz. We'll read the best messages later. And you can email us, mediabuzz@foxnews.com.

Ahead, a very mixed media verdict on the private video showing Black Lives Matter protesters confronting Hillary Clinton. But when we come back, should television be giving Donald Trump such seemingly endless air time?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Why don't they just cover me like anybody else? Every time I speak, it has to be live. It's ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Donald Trump with that big rally Friday night in Mobile, Alabama.
I don't think he was all that upset about it. But Fred Francis, If Trump is on again and again, because a couple days earlier, he gave a presser and a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. All three cable networks, news networks, covered that, same thing in Alabama. Are the media giving him a big fat gift, worth zillions of dollars?

FRANCIS: Trump makes news. Listen, the media reporters, we cover lottery winners who win millions of dollars. We cover train wrecks. Donald Trump is both. Ok, he's a winner and he's a train wreck.

KURTZ: How is he a train wreck?

FRANCIS: What he said...

KURTZ: If you look at the presidential field. You may not like what he says.

FRANCIS: I actually don't like what he said. But that's not the point.
The point is he makes news, he's fresh. Every day he has something fresh to say. That's the essence of what being a journalist is, covering something fresh. He would do an interview with a high school newspaper, ok? That's how -- that's how proactive he is, and that's news.

KURTZ: And I partially agree with Fred Francis because by being provocative, by being entertaining, by being accessible, Trump has sort -- had to master of the news cycle. It's not just a gift, it's something that other candidates could learn from Trump on, how to become more news worthy figures.

HOLMES: Sure, by being Trump. And as the Fox News debate proved with 24 million people tuning in, he is great for business. You're going to get more eyeballs if you put him on the screen. And just as an example of that, I called my mom this week, chatting with her, and she's like, ok, honey, have got to go, Trump's on. And she doesn't even like him, but she had to watch him.

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: You know, I was on the Kelly File one night, and the setup for my informed commentary was nine minutes of sound for what Donald Trump had said that day. No other candidate gets that. Also, today he phoned into this week, at Face the Nation, gets to phone into shows. Candidates don't usually get that. So is television news starting to distort the coverage here?

STODDARD: Well, look. When Bernie Sanders was amassing record crowds in -
- that we had not seen before the rally in Alabama, he wasn't getting live coverage. So, yes, the point is, he is -- he's the magic dust. He's ratings and you cover it.

KURTZ: And Trump goes on Twitter, and he comments on the coverage. For example, AB, he liked what the Washington Post wrote about the Alabama rally, but he took issue with Politico. Politico covers me more inaccurately than any other media source and that's saying something. He says a lot more people attended an event he did in Phoenix than Politico reported, which may or may not be true.

STODDARD: He criticizes and he compliments. And really, if -- even though his supporters might not be following him on Twitter like the media is, there is a certain level of detachment that is required to be the leader of the free world. And if you cannot get off your Ipad and be combing through the coverage and take care of the nations or the world's business, you've got a problem. I wonder where this is going to cool down.

FRANCIS: He gets coverage the old fashioned way. He earns it. And every other candidate in this field could take lessons from how he can get in the news and make news.

KURTZ: Well, on that point, setting me up for my tease, but first, let me thank Fred Francis, Amy Holmes, and AB Stoddard.

Up next, why the other candidates -- the ones not names Donald are having so much trouble breaking through and getting coverage.

And later, New York Times describes Amazon as a cyber sweat shop but the ombudsman says the paper went too far.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: With Donald Trump dominating the campaign coverage day after day, sometimes hour after hour, why aren't the other candidates getting much attention? Well, when Scott Walker's campaign held a conference call of reporters, a press aide insisted on screening questions in advance. And when the Wisconsin Governor spoke to CNBC this week, but refused to take a stand on birthright citizenship, that's not how you make news. He did say today on NBC, that he doesn't want to change. Rand Paul went to Haiti this week to do eye operations, a very noble thing for the surgeon, but I don't see how it helps what ails his campaign. Jeb bush sat down with Greta Van Susteren last week but hasn't exactly been working the TV circuit. Marco Rubio has been out there doing interviews, but -- and this says more about my profession, the biggest news he's made for some time was for this Bloomberg video showing him throwing a pass.

Let's look at that in slow motion. You see the arm cocked, the ball going up. Ouch, one more time. All right, come on. That 4-year-old kid, he should have caught it. An interesting contrast on the Democratic side is Bernie Sanders. He gives lots of TV interviews, but doesn't generate many headlines, because he refuses to talk about Hillary Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I said is the corporate media talks about all kinds of issues, except the most important issues, ok? And time after time, I'm being asked to criticize Hillary Clinton.

That's the thing you guys like. I am not going to get into the game of sitting around attacking Hillary Clinton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Well, the speak no evil approach has worked for Bernie, in part because the press doesn't really believe he has a shot at winning. And, of course, Hillary herself, as I mentioned, has done two national television sit-downs, along with CNN's Brianna Keilar, and one with Univision. The bottom line, politicians have to earn media coverage, and that takes savvy, a skill that Trump has in spades and many of the others lack. Yes, the television covers Trump, maybe over-covers Trump because he's good for ratings, but also the art of the deal has also mastered the art of making news.

Ahead, the massive leak of subscribers to the website Ashley Madison. Are the media really going to out some of the millions messing around?

But first, the pundits have mocked and minimized Donald Trump. Are they finally starting to take him seriously?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: Donald Trump is using the media again, constantly granting interviews. He's at it again today, saying hugely controversial things again and dominating the coverage once again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Then you say, well, we've got to have mass deportations. That's not going to happen, because the 14th Amendment says, if you're born here, you're an American and you can't kick Americans out.

TRUMP: Bill, I think you're wrong about the 14th amendment. And frankly, the whole thing with anchor babies and the concept of anchor babies, I don't think you're right about that.

LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Trump is schooling people on H1V visas. It's remarkable.

JEDEDIAH BILA, FOX NEWS: It's true. And he's saying things about immigration that people are afraid to say.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: He seems to have a reading of the 14th amendment that I can't find anyone else of reasonable mind shares.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: With the CNN poll showing Trump trailing Hillary by six points in a hypothetical match-up, are some pundits finally taking the Donald seriously? Joining us now from Scottsdale, Arizona, Matt Lewis, Senior Contributor for the Daily Caller, and in New York Keli Goff, a Columnist for the Daily Beast. Matt Lewis, Trump's immigration plan, you may not like it, the New York Times and Washington Post editorial pages are ripping it, once again, the media have to recognize, he is touching a deep nerve.

MATT LEWIS, DAILY CALLER SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely, Howie. Look, I think the press, the media still think he's a clown. The difference is now we think he's a clown who very well could be the Republican nominee.

KURTZ: That is quite a sea change. Kelly Goff, Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in a phoner today, when pressed about how are you going to implement this mass deportation you talk about, how much will it cost, he just kept saying, it's called management. And you get great people. But every time he does this, whether it's the 14th amendment or John McCain or the Fox News debate, commentators say he is gone too far and he winds up going up in the polls.

KELI GOFF, DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: Right. Well, look, this story reminds me of the fact that I often get asked, particularly by my more conservative friends back in Texas if there really is liberal bias in media. And I usually have the same reply, which is that there is not so much as there is liberal bias and laziness and what I call follow the leader bias. So what do I mean by that, Howie? Well, five years ago, CBS News poll found at least half of Americans actually support considering ending birthright citizenship. The problem is, most people who work in media go to the same dinner parties together, they tweet at each other. And they all seem to kind of think well if he thinks -- if they're outlets covering it one way, then we must all be covering it a certain way, that becomes a perception.
And so this perception took hold that the mainstream perspective is that you don't end birthright citizenship, and so Trump has tapped into something which actually resonates with half of Americans. The media has not been responsibly covering it that way. I wrote about this issue several months ago, Howie, and got this backlash, except for in the comments. In the comments, people were saying this makes sense.

KURTZ: But Matt, when I watch O'Reilly, you know, going at it with Trump over the 14th amendment and deportation and so far, I thought maybe this debate is good for the country.

LEWIS: Yeah. Well, there is that argument. Look, I think there will be a point of diminishing returns where Trumpism could have long-term, long- lasting negative effects on the conservative movement and the Republican Party. But in the short term, there is really no evidence that he's done that. What he has done is really highlighted some important issues that need to be discussed and debated. And we need to acknowledge that there is a schism and a disconnect between what some conservative opinion leaders and media personalities think versus what a lot of average Americans think.
I also think Trump has been -- aside from being great ratings and great for business, he's also helped humble the press a little bit. We have been wrong so many times about him. He wasn't going to even get in the race to begin with. And then he wasn't actually ever going to file...

KURTZ: On that point, humble, I would say humiliated.

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Why Trump won't fold. It took three reporters this after three months, all this time to figure out that this is not some flash in the pan.
I would say it was obvious after two weeks. Also, one of them mentioned a Politico headline about the Alabama rally, Trump, Alabama and the ghost of George Wallace who of course, ran for President as a segregationist, I though an unfair implication. And let me play a sound bite for you, Kelly Goff of MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell setting up a segment about the Donald.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'DONNELL: Coming up, why some people are now turning to psychiatry for the answer to the question, what's wrong with Donald Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Isn't that classic condescension by the media elite?

GOFF: Well, except for the fact that even the supporters will tell that he often says things that most people agree you're not supposed to say out loud. That doesn't mean that they don't enjoy hearing it.

KURTZ: So he needs psychiatric analysis?

GOFF: Maybe he needs a better media coach. I don't know. Look, he was having -- Lawrence O'Donnell was having some fun at the expense of the Donald. He's not going to be the last reporter to do so. But the fact of the matter is we're all being entertained, in part because he says these things that we all consider crazy. That's part of what's his appeal, Howie.

KURTZ: Well, I wouldn't say we all consider crazy. Sometimes he's over the top and sometimes obviously he has things that catapulted him to the top of the GOP field. Matt Lewis, you've written that much of the public and the conservative movement of which you are a part are falling for demagoguery in the case of Trump. But the guy has done now 68 national TV interviews, more in print, more online. If you're right, why isn't that obvious to everyone? Why is it that you see demagoguery and a lot of people still like the guy?

LEWIS: Well look, there is a reason why demagogues are popular. The George Wallace reference might be over the top, but there is some element of truth to it. Maybe William Jennings Brian might have been a better example or Huey Long might have been a better example. Look, I think that there is a strain of a very angry, populist, not traditionally conservative
-- I don't know, thing happening with Donald Trump out there. But having said that, you do have to recognize, this is a real phenomenon, and he has tapped into something, and there are a lot of Americans around the country who are saying, finally, someone is saying this. And the fact that he's willing to say things that nobody else wants to say, he's politically incorrect again, how many times have we written him off, you know, the McCain gap that was supposed to end.

KURTZ: Just for the record, I haven't written him off and I have been scolding the media for saying this. Look, the liberal media, Keli -- I mean the Huffington Post is still sticking to this stunner, saying we're only going to cover Donald Trump in the entertainment section because he's a sideshow, even though he's the clear Republican front runner. The conservative media is apoplectic about the fact that Donald Trump has kind of taken over the GOP race.

GOFF: Well look, what brings to mind to me is that who is that famous governor who said in Louisiana the only way I won't get elected is if I get caught in bed with a black boy or dead white girl.

KURTZ: It was Edward Edwards.

GOFF: Yea, ok, he got re-elected.

KURTZ: White girl or dead boy, yeah.

GOFF: He got re-elected. So it's not exactly as though all of us who are covering this have been acting our country is above electing people who do and say questionable things. Guess what, America. We're not. That's kind of what the reality is of this situation. So we have to cover it accordingly.

KURTZ: Live boy or a dead girl. You make a point. Like any other candidate, Trump needs media scrutiny, but he has found a remarkable way to thrive, despite when the press criticizes him. In fact, he turns that into an asset because he's running not just against the establishment but against those of us in the news business. Let me get a break.

Coming up, is the press too easy on black protesters who stop presidential candidates from speaking?

And later, Jeff Bezos says he doesn't recognize the Amazon portrayed in a New York Times investigation, but is that just spin?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: The protest group Black Lives Matter has been disrupting the rallies of Democratic candidates, and after Hillary Clinton met privately with the group, a video of the encounter was leaked to the media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I mean to say is that this is and has always been a problem of violence. It's not -- there's -- there's not much that we can do to stop the violence against us.

CLINTON: Respectfully, if that is your position, then I will talk only to white people about how we are going to deal with the very real problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not what I mean. That's not what I mean. What I'm saying is, you -- what you just said was a form of victim blaming.
You're saying that what the Black Lives Matter movement needs to do to change white hearts.

CLINTON: No, I'm talking about -- look, I don't believe you change hearts.
I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Keli Goff, some conservative media outlets saying that was not a great moment for Hillary Clinton. But New York Times news stories said she was spontaneous, impassioned, unconcerned about potential repercussions seemingly, Washington Post news story, candid, blunt, pragmatic. Who is right?

GOFF: Here's what's interesting, Howie. When Black Lives Matter confronted Bernie Sanders, the media narrative became clearly that Black Lives Matter hurt Bernie Sanders, right? He was attacked by the left for not handling the moment appropriately, he was attacked by the right for not appearing weak, and this resulted in weeks of stories about him that were negative and unflattering and he enjoyed a pretty good ride in terms of press coverage prior to that. After Hillary, she clearly learned from their -- their campaign learned from what happened to Bernie Sanders and she actually came across as forceful and authoritative in terms of her knowledge on the issue, but she also expressed real compassion and understanding for it. And that's why as a result I don't think she's been hurt as badly. And that the coverage reflects that. I think she really learned from how badly this hurt Sanders and she handled herself differently and I actually think it worked for her.

KURTZ: But Matt Lewis, when she talked about greater allocation of resources, you know, some pundits saying that's not how Bill Clinton would have done it.

LEWIS: No. She's -- you know what, she ain't Bill Clinton. She doesn't have a fraction of his charisma-like ability. And that's really what this is. Maybe it's a roar shock test. But I have to say, I think she came across as hostile, I think she was pointing, which is always a horrible optics when you're pointing at people. I think she came across horrible, but look...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Go ahead, Keli. But if you're going to jump in, I want to move this along because we're short on time.

GOFF: Ok.

KURTZ: Why have the media not been more critical of this group, which I'm not saying it doesn't have the right to protest, I'm not saying there aren't legitimate issues about law enforcement, but when you stop candidates from speaking, I'm a free speech guy. Why -- shutting people down from speaking?

GOFF: I believe David Duke has a right to give a speech, uninterrupted, even though everything he says in the speech is something I disagree with.
So you and I are in agreement there, Howie. What I was going to say back to Matt is first of all, I don't think Bill Clinton would have been Bill Clinton in the current media environment. Because he would have already gotten himself in trouble on Twitter, he would have already gotten himself in trouble with black...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: I've got to move on to the press.

GOFF: Ok.

KURTZ: Let me just get Matt back in briefly. So Julius Jones of this group said -- told CNN, when people say all lives matter, it's a violent statement. Is there a fear in media to criticize this group of appearing racially insensitive?

LEWIS: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely there is. But look, here's what I think the untold story is with the under told story. We have seen for years on the right, there's this schism, you know, people of the tea party movement. This is happening on the left. This is a radical group that is really tearing the left apart. They've been very disciplined for the last eight years under Obama, the left in general. And now I think you're seeing the phenomenon on the left as well.

KURTZ: Got to wrap it up. But let me give Keli Goff a last comment.

GOFF: Look, I think the -- Matt is not the target audience for Hillary Clinton in that video. And the media coverage that we're seeing reflects that. I think that she actually won this encounter and I think it was a positive media win for her. Because I'm hearing from other African- Americans, if you look at African-American sites, people are saying she handled herself well, including in my own family. So this was actually a win for her.

KURTZ: Ok, have got to go, Keli Goff, Matt Lewis, thanks very much.

Next on "MediaBuzz," a huge debate over New York Times expose about Amazon's hyper competitive culture. Is it as heartless as the paper contends?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: A lengthy New York Times investigation portrays Amazon as a highly successful company with a cut throat culture, one where people cry at their desks and bad-mouth their colleagues on their internal system, where executives purge the bottom tier of employees each year, and workers are penalized for medical problems.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODI KANTOR, NEW YORK TIMES: We talked to the mother of a stillborn child who as soon as she came back to work was told that she was going to be monitored for her job performance. She felt the company wasn't giving her time to recover.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos decried "shockingly callous management practice, including people being treated without empathy while enduring family tragedies and serious health problems." That won't be tolerated Bezos insists but he says he doesn't recognize the broader portion of Amazon and that no such callous company could survive in the tech market place. Joining us now from San Francisco is Sara Lacy, Editor In Chief of the techsite Pando.com. So let's start with the journalism. Is it difficult to pull off a piece like this with more than 100 interviews, many of them on the record involving such a secretive company?

SARAH LACY, PANDO.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF: It's incredibly difficult. Amazon is one of the hardest companies to report on right up there with Apple during the Steve Jobs years. I think they did a tremendous job. And I think it showed how relevant the New York Times still is. Look, when you are a still print publication out of New York, with you know, several hundred person newsroom and you turn the tech world on its ear this much, you freak out the tech world. You know, you're still a powerful news organization. Possibly even more so as other ones have died, you know, and fallen away, the New York Times looks even more powerful than it did a decade or so ago.

KURTZ: Right. And that newsroom actually still has more than 1,000 journalists. The Washington Post owned by Jeff Bezos -- I thought was a pretty tepid follow-up the next day. But were people surprised, Sarah that a tech company that has something of a cyber sweatshop environment because Amazon generally has a pretty good reputation among its customers?

KURTZ: Yeah. I think what freaked people out about this were two things.
One, we've been sold this idea that tech companies change the world and provide these great perks and, you know, free dog walking and meals around the clock.

KURTZ: Yeah.

LACY: And, you know, so we don't expect this from a tech company, but Amazon really isn't a tech company. I mean its two companies. It's a sort of small tech company, and a lot of those guys at the top, the people who are commissioning movies for Amazon and doing a lot of the more creative very high-level tasks, I'm sure they don't have this kind of work environment, but then beyond that, this is the world's largest retailer.
We would not be shocked to hear about these things coming out about Walmart. We think of Amazon as a tech company, but it's on path to a $1 billion retailer, and how do we think that this company can get us everything in the world for the lowest price and get it delivered to us the second we think of it? We've never seen a retailer that brutally efficient that's a friendly place to work.

KURTZ: Right.

LACY: I think the second thing that freaked people out about this article is there's been exposes about work at Amazon before, but they were blue collar jobs. They were stories about 100-degree heat and paramedics being outside to take people to the hospital.

KURTZ: In the warehouse.

LACY: When they fainted in the warehouses, but this was the first one about white collar workers, and I think a lot of people who read the Times and comment on these things on Twitter were like, oh, this is people like us.

KURTZ: Right, right, and, you know, by the way, the New York Times newsroom, not always the easiest place to work either under certain editors of the past.

LACY: I was going to say, what I was reading this it reminded me of coming up at Business Week, I cried at my desk a lot.

KURTZ: Ok. So it's not limited to companies like Amazon. Who hasn't cried at their desk sometime? But interesting in terms of the spin, Jeff Bezos saying he was troubled by some of the anecdotes -- said he didn't recognize the company but he didn't say anything was factually inaccurate which to me is the ultimate test whether a piece is bulletproof.

LACY: And here's the thing. If you talk to really great CEO's, and I think Bezos would admit this, too, it's not just about what you say. The article talked a lot about these principles and how they have been carried to the insane extreme. It's about what you don't say and a lot of times as a manager you can say one thing and how it gets interpreted and interpreted and interpreted down the line can lead to totally different ramifications of a company than you wanted, so he may be telling the truth in saying he didn't realize this was going on. He doesn't recognize the company, but, unfortunately, it's still his fault. It's incumbent on him to be really clear what he means by those principles, and if he means -- if he doesn't want this to be the company that he's in charge of, a data-obsessed machine that has no empathy for sick or mothers or no paternity leave, I mean, he can make choices.

KURTZ: Got to go.

LACY: Tech companies in Silicon Valley, they want to drive people too, but they still have friendly policies because they know they have to retain talent.

KURTZ: All right, got to go, Sarah.

LACY: Not as much competition for the workers.

KURTZ: All right, thanks very much, Sarah Lacy.

Still to come, your top tweets. The Donald changes his view of a magazine and the hacking of Ashley Madison. Should the media exploit this breach of privacy?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: Donald Trump is well known for ripping journalists and then, well, moving on. He mocks Chuck Todd as sleepy eyes on Twitter and wound up sitting down with him on Meet the Press, and as media points out, it was just two years ago that Trump tweeted this about Time. Just like at Time Magazine, looks really flimsy, like a free handout at a parking lot, the sad end is coming, just like Newsweek. And now here's Trump this week at a photo shoot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm doing this for the cover of Time Magazine. I love Time Magazine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Apparently the Donald has developed new respect for Time's judgment and putting him on its iconic cover.

All right, time for tweets. Is TV news giving Donald Trump too much air time?

Amy D. Hound, No such thing as too much air for Donald Trump. He's winning by telling his story and being proactive.

Mandike, He gets the air time he deserves. Hillary should get more but the mainstream media don't want to go there, the death of journalism.

Harry W. Louard, You're a business and you'll go where the ratings are, that's your bottom line. Be honest and all is good.

Jim Hoffman, of course, TV news is TV, the same media that made stars out of honey booboo, The Kardashians, Duck Dynasty. It's a freak show.

Well, it's hard to miss the media uproar over hackers posting account information for at least 32 million users of Ashley Madison, the website whose slogan is life is short, have an affair.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS: Another story we're following overnight could spell trouble for the millions of users of the cheating website Ashley Madison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hackers have made good on a threat to expose millions of users of a dating website that caters to people looking for extra marital affairs.

ROSE: But tonight thanks to hackers, a lot of secrets are out, and the FBI is investigating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: It's an important story that shows we're all vulnerable to invasions of online privacy. Brian Carrabes, the Cyber Security Reporter who originally broke the story tells National, he's been swamped by emails from desperate-sounding people and he holds back information because, "I'm not interested in making a bad situation worse or enabling people to extort others." And that's the dilemma, the same one we faced after the Sony hack led to all kinds of stories, some of them pretty gossipy, about emails involving executives and movie stars and agents. Why should the media report on people having affairs if there's no connection to public duties or screaming hypocrisy? The A.P. for instance handled it well by reporting on some of the thousands of people who use their government or military emails -- I know dumb, identifying some by title, a technology staffer and the president's executive office, a Justice Department trial lawyer and so on, but should the media go further and contribute to breaking up families?
I think we already have our answer. Gawker reported that one account was registered to a former reality star that is part of a very large family, and it was picked up by all kinds of major news organizations and the person apologized for the hypocrisy. There is plenty of room here for a debate about infidelity and morality and online dating and privacy, without turning it into a blood sport.

Well, that's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I'm Howard Kurtz. We hope you'll like our Facebook page, we spend a lot -- we post a lot of original content there, you can be part of your Buzz, you do that in part by emailing us mediabus@foxnews.com. Ask a media question, don't give a political speech and I'll respond to some of those. I read all the email.

As for Television, we're back here next Sunday 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern. We hope you'll join us then as we talk about Trump and Hillary, and other subjects having nothing to do with politics. We'll be back here with the latest Buzz.

Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.