Donald Trump's 'loyalty' show; Carly crashes the party

Radio host trips up candidate


This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," September 6, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the Buzz Meter this Sunday, another media frenzy at Trump Tower as the Donald takes the pledge he won't mount a third-party campaign, sounds off on everything from Tom Brady to Kanye West and of course this is his rival.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As far as Jeb is concerned -- I watched him this morning on television. It's a little bit sad. Don't forget he was supposed to win. He just doesn't have the energy.


KURTZ: But is the press digging into the charges and countercharges between Trump and Bush. And Radio Host Hugh Hewitt quizzing Trump on foreign policy. Were those gotcha questions?

Carly Fiorina just took on CNN and won, pressuring the network into changing its polling rules so she can join its prime time debate.


KURTZ: That suggests that CNN was targeting you and didn't want you on that stage.

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's hard to walk away from a conclusion that somehow I was being disadvantaged. That's how a lot of people felt.


KURTZ: My sit-down with the GOP's only female candidate, on the media, Hillary, Trump, and sexist coverage. Hillary Clinton trying to contain the email debacle breaks her television silence on MSNBC.


ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC: Are you sorry? Do you want to apologize to the American people for the choice you made?

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it wasn't the best choice and I certainly have said that. I will continue to say that.


KURTZ: What did we learn from her interview with Andrea Mitchell? Tom Brady beats the NFL and the media are still tackling him, why we won't let go of Deflate Gate.

Plus, the nasty debates in the '60s between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom breeds inequality. I'll say it a third time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, twice is enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Always to the right and almost always in the wrong.


KURTZ: Did that begin the era of toxic television? I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."

The media mob filled the lobby of Trump Tower. The cable news networks going on high alert, all Donald Trump was signing a pledge that he supports the Republican nominee, even if it wasn't him. And then it became a very familiar sight, the Trump Show.


TRUMP: And frankly I felt that the absolute best way to win and to beat the Democrats -- and very easily I think beat the Democrats no matter who it may be whether it's Hillary or anybody else, and I think maybe Hillary is going to have a very hard time frankly with what's happening getting to the starting gate.


KURTZ: Joining us now, Susan Ferrechio Chief Congressional Correspondent for the Washington Examiner, Matt Lewis, Senior Contributor at the Daily Caller, and Mara Liasson of National Public Radio, and a Fox News Contributor. Susan, why do the media treat what would ordinarily be a simple act, a GOP candidate pledging to support the GOP nominate as a huge breaking story.

SUSAN FERRECHIO, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, first of all he gets great ratings. Everybody tunes in I think that's the number one reason. But this isn't just any declaration, this is Donald Trump, someone who did not say right off the bat whether he would become a third-party candidate and if he were to make that decision with his numbers in the polls right now, I think it would mean certain victory for the Democrats. It's a very consequential announcement.

KURTZ: Does that mean Matt Lewis, that Bret Baier's leadoff question at the Fox debate -- raise you hands if you won't run third party, the one that Trump thought was so unfair, was kind of relevant.

MATT LEWIS, DAILY CALLER SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. I thought it was a great first question. Normally I hate those raise your hand questions.  It was a great first question. And less than a month later we now have this reversal, so Kudos, Bret Baier.

KURTZ: This event at Trump Tower, Mara, seemed to quiet some of Trump's critics in the media who are now saying the previous unthinkable. Hey, he might win the nomination.

MARA LIASSON, NPR NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT:  Well, right now he's doing pretty great in the polls. He's winning by curvature of the earth in some polls. I think that one of the interesting things about that event although it was classic Trump from start to finish, you know everything was best and biggest and his opponents are low energy meaning they are smaller in every way than he is. Was that he sounded more responsible and restrained and mature and a little polished. He refused to answer a question about the topless women in Times Square, not appropriate he said.

KURTZ: Not appropriate?

LIASSON: When have you ever heard Donald Trump say something was not appropriate? Then asked about the question about the woman in Kentucky not giving marriage licenses, he says I don't know enough about that. When has he ever said that he didn't know enough about something to answer it?

KURTZ: I have also seen Trump dial it down a little bit.

LIASSON: On immigration.

KURTZ: And in some of these interviews as well, but the interview that has the media abuzz is the one he did with Conservative Radio Host Hugh Hewitt.  Now Trump says that over the phone he misheard Hugh Hewitt's question about Iran's Kurds force as referred to the Kurds, that could happen, and then there was this.


HUGH HEWITT, TALK RADIO HOST: On the front of Islamist terrorists, I'm looking for the next Commander In Chief to know who these guys are. Do you know the players without a scorecard yet, Donald Trump?

TRUMP: No, you know I'll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office they'll all be changed, they'll be all gone.

HEWITT: I don't believe in gotcha questions. I'm not trying to quiz you on who the worst guy in the world is.

TRUMP: That's a gotcha question though. I mean you know when you're asking me about who is running this and this. That's not -- I will be so good at the military your head will spin.


KURTZ: Trump went on Twitter to accuse Hugh Hewitt of being a third rate announcer. Is that exchange important or is it important only to media types?

FERRECHIO: That's the number one question here, Howard. Do the public care about how he answers these questions? Is he a hustler or is he a big picture genius? And I think after this Hewitt interview, when you look at comments from people and hear reaction from the public, you don't hear a lot of people abandoning support of Trump over this interview. A lot of them are saying, well, Trump is right. Hugh Hewitt did fire off these gotcha questions. We in the media are like wait, where is the depth, where is the understanding of foreign policy that we need.

LEWIS: Look, this is a Hugh Hewitt primary. I think he's really elevated during this cycle.

KURTZ: He's going to joining the questioning at the CNN debate later this month.

LEWIS: Exactly, I -- Trump has been on half a dozen times. All the candidates are doing Hugh Hewitt primary. And this is what he does, he asks questions about that. And not knowing about Solomon or the Kurds Force that is an indictment on a person who wants to be President of the United States.

FERRECHIO: According to us it is. The public says hey, once you're in office, you put your people in place and get to know who these people are.  That seems to be reaction.

LEWIS: He watches the show. That's where he gets his foreign policy.


LIASSON: Anything that -- all of the criteria we would apply to other candidates that would hurt them like a Sarah Palin or somebody else not knowing who the leader of a certain country is doesn't work for Donald Trump. Look at what he's done. He insulted Megyn Kelly, John McCain, and Hispanics and he keeps going up. The facts he doesn't know the names of these terrorist leaders, why is that going to affect him, and to his defense in one tiny way during the interview he kept on saying you mean Kurds? He said it...


LEWIS: The confusion with Kurds doesn't make sense. I think there's an interesting debate here, Howie, and that's what the purpose of center right media conservative journalism is. We saw when Fox News asked Donald Trump tough questions, Megyn Kelly came under attack and Fox News in some cases came under attack. Hugh Hewitt is doing a similar thing. Rather than carry the water for Donald Trump, he's actually vetting him hoping that the Republican nominee is somebody prepared to take on Hillary Clinton. I think that's a service.

KURTZ: It's our job to ask questions but all too often in the last three months journalists have jumped to conclusions. This is going to hurt him.  This is going to kill him. He's going to drop now. Some people and the pundits are starting to learn that's not the case. I want to take time to play for you some back and forth between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. We're going to start with a Bush ad against Trump and then Trump's response, and then you'll see a Trump ad against Jeb and Jeb being interviewed, actually both on the same program, "Good Morning, America." Let's take a look.


TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS, 1999: Partial birth abortion.

TRUMP: I'm very pro-choice. I'm pro-choice in every respect and as far as it goes.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Who would you like representing the United States in a deal with Iran with this regime there?

TRUMP: I think Hillary would do a good job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He heard Jeb Bush yesterday you're not a conservative and more Democrat than Republican. This is all personal. Is he drawing blood?

TRUMP: Well, I think he had really no choice. He's doing very poorly in the polls. He's a very low energy kind of guy.

JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, they broke the law. But it's not a felony. It's an act of love.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Is that what you think that Donald Trump is a one-man mission to kill the GOP?

BUSH: I think Donald Trump is trying to insult his way to the presidency and it's not going to work. People want an uplifting hopeful message.


KURTZ: Susan Ferrechio, where is the detailed media examination of the immigration questions raised in the Trump ad against Bush, the shifting of positions raised in the Bush ad against Trump. I'm not seeing it.

FERRECHIO: It's lost to the new voters who are now primed by this new entertainment medium of reality television. What could be better than two candidates tossing aside their tedious talking points and throwing punches at each other? And I think that's what's come to dominate the election.

KURTZ: But I think that we have fallen down on our responsibility because -- yes, it's the easiest thing in the world to do is to do the food fight.  Trump said this and Bush punched back. But here are ads that are about real issues and changes of position and voters may or may not care, and I just think that got lost.

LEWIS: I think it did. There are really good journalists out there writing things about this primarily writing them, but when you talk about what gets this sound bite and what gets the clip shown on TV, it is the food fight. And I would say personally I think that when you compare the two ads that you just showed, the one that Donald Trump showed was actually intellectually dishonest. He's taking something that Jeb Bush is talking about, immigrant families and he's conflating that with illegal immigrants who murdered people, and I think it's reprehensible. The Jeb Bush ad shows that Donald Trump in fact is a flip-flopper. And so that's my sort of weighing in.

KURTZ: Right. But voters don't care that Donald Trump took different positions. He said Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat.

LIASSON: That was the first really hard -- by Republican against a Republican.

LEWIS: Sadly George W. Bush did...


LIASSON: There's no doubt that Donald Trump has rewritten the laws of politics as it applies to him. He doesn't have to be consistent. But one thing that Jeb Bush is doing, he's trying to take on Trump ideologically and say look, he's a closet liberal, and he's a flip-flopper. Well, that's not really what voters care about. They care that Donald Trump seems strong, he seems beholden to no one, and he's against the establishment.


LIASSON: The coverage should point that out and much of the coverage has and there's the first layer of coverage which is all about the food fight.  I've seen many fact-checking articles about Donald Trump. But the one thing that Jeb Bush hasn't done and we can't cover it until he does is take on Trumpism. Not just Donald Trump and he insults people but Trump stands for something. Trump stands for nativism and economic grievance. He's against illegal immigrants and he's against hedge fund guys getting tax breaks. That's a very potent populist formula that's worked in the past and if it's not going to be modern Republican Party, Jeb Bush needs to stand up on his hind legs and say so.

KURTZ: Just to clarify, you're not saying he's a blowhard.


LIASSON: No that what Jeb Bush is saying. He insults everybody.

KURTZ: By the way it's not quite like the Willie Horton ad in 1988 used against Michael Dukakis, because he actually allowed Willie Horton -- and therefore could be held accountable for criminal actions. This is more about his pronouncement of immigration.

Before we take a break, CNN in changing polling criteria basically letting Carly Fiorina on the stage as I will talk to her later, getting criticism for caving into pressure and not sticking with its original criteria. Is that fair?

FERRECHIO: Your first thought is what about all the other candidates?  Shouldn't the criteria apply evenly to everybody if we're talk about the first female presidential candidate in the Republican field, why are we cutting corners for her and not everybody else?

KURTZ: Right, I think CNN's old criteria were wrong. By the way I was interviewed for the Washington Posts' Style section this week on the origins of the nickname of the Donald. Apparently, I was one of the first reporters to use it back in 1989. For those that don't know, it came from his then wife Ivana who was speaking broken English. That's why everyone calls him the Donald.

Ahead, how on earth did Carly Fiorina get CNN to change the debate rules in her favor? We'll ask her that and a lot more.

When we come back, Hillary Clinton finally grants another TV interview to Andrea Mitchell, as the email news turns even worse.


KURTZ: Hillary Clinton broke her TV silence about the email mess on Friday, sitting down with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.


MITCHELL: The first words that came to mind when asked about you were liar, untrustworthy, crooked, how does that make you feel?

CLINTON: Well, it certainly doesn't make me feel good.

MITCHELL: Why did you wipe the server clean? You know what a lot of people are asking, why? Why have just a personal system, did anyone in your inner circle say this isn't just a good idea, let's not do this.

CLINTON: You know I was not thinking a lot when I got in.


KURTZ: Susan, some skeptics predicted that Andrea Mitchell -- who has known and covered Hillary for decades would be tossing softballs, how did she do?

FERRECHIO: When she said how do you feel about that, I would prefer say how do you respond to that? This is a serious question about your trustworthiness.

KURTZ: Don't you think she drilled down in that 10 or 12 minutes about why did you do it, bad advice and all that?

FERRECHIO: I thought she did ok. And I think still Hillary Clinton didn't do herself any favors with that interview in terms of her difficulties looking like a likable candidate.

KURTZ: Mara was this a high stakes interview precisely because -- with the exception of Univision, Hillary Clinton hasn't done a national television interview in two months before this.

LIASSON: I think Hillary Clinton would have been better served if she had done a ton more national press. I'm not saying her problems would be over, or that she would be getting better press, she'd become a better candidate.  The more you do it, the better you get. One of the things that Jeb Bush is doing is out there every day answering questions trying to become a better candidate. I think it would have helped her.

FERRECHIO: It hasn't helped Jeb. His poll numbers have gone down.

LIASSON: No, but it's a good thing to do if you're a candidate and she can just get over some of her defensiveness with the press which is one of the other things that is hurting her.

KURTZ: Matt did Hillary who refused to apologize -- but she's sorry about confusion about the email, did anything to change the media narrative on this?

LEWIS: No. I think she just reinforced the whole I'm sorry if other people were confused. It's just patronizing and plays into the likeability factor. That's one of her big problems. I don't think there is going to be a smoking gun that comes out of the email scandal, but she's been on defense for months now. It's reinforcing her negatives that she is secretive and there's not transparency, and I think it's kind of the death of a thousand cuts right now.

KURTZ: Well, Hillary has been answering more questions from reporters on the trail compared to say a couple months ago. At the same time, let's say there were five other national television interviews in two or three weeks preceding this. A lot of questions would have been asked and you wouldn't have this sort of buildup of the pressure that everything has to be shoved into this sit down otherwise, the journalists are accused of leaving questions unanswered.

FERRECHIO: Ultimately, those interviews have to yield something for Mrs. Clinton. Does she look better after them or worse? And if she answers the questions the same way she did with Andrea Mitchell, I don't see that helping her in the long run. It's not just that she needs to talk to the press more, she needs to change the way she talks to the press. Here she is a second time presidential candidate, still having difficulties. Again, this is a whole new difficult issue for her, but she's not overcome that problem of talking to reporters.

KURTZ: I thought Andrea Mitchell did a good job? The one question she could have asked was about the former state department aide, I.T. guy who is pleading the fifth rather than talk to Congress. All right Mara Liasson, Matt Lewis, and Susan Ferrechio thanks very much. Don't forget to send me a tweet @HowardKurtz. We want to hear from you about our subjects and our program.

Ahead, Carly Fiorina tells me the coverage of her candidacy has sometimes been sexist.

But up next, just when you thought the Deflate Gate story was out of air, Tom Brady gets his suspension overturned and much of the media are not happy about that.


KURTZ: Sony is starting to publicize a Will Smith movie called "Concussion," which gives the appearance of taking on the NFL over head injuries.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found a disease that no one has ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Repetitive head trauma chokes the brain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NFL does not want to talk to you. You turned on the lights and gave their biggest boogie man a name.


KURTZ: But Sony is actually playing touch football and not tackle based on internal emails reported by the New York Times. One Sony exec writing last year that Will is not anti-football and though is the movie and isn't planning to be a spokesman for what football should or shouldn't be. Will developed messaging with help of NFL consultant to ensure that we're telling a dramatic story and not kicking the hornet's nest. Other emails said some unflattering moments for the NFL were deleted or changed and that a top Sony lawyer had taken most of the bite out of the film for legal reasons with the NFL. I talked about this with Fox News Contributor Tara Holder on her show Sports Court.


KURTZ: It seems like they are practically quaking in their sneakers about the idea that this might tick-off the National Football League and so let's tone it down. Will Smith is not anti-football.

TAMARA HOLDER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Howie, I think it's beyond that. I don't mean to sound argumentative. This is a really upsetting to me.


HOLDER: I thought that -- not me. I thought that this was actually going to be something, you know, finally for once. And we learned that the NFL or Sony actually had a consultant, a consultant to deal with the NFL. So it wasn't just emails back and forth.


KURTZ: And with Tom Brady and Deflate Gate back in the news, Tamara Holder joins us now from Montreal. What do these stories -- Tom Brady beating the NFL in federal court, Sony softening its Concussion movie, tell us about the coverage of pro football.

HOLDER: Well, let's just start with Tom Brady. We know for a fact that Tom Brady is basically the O.J. Simpson case of our time. Why do I say that? No, Tom Brady is not a murderer.

KURTZ: He didn't kill anybody.

HOLDER: Right.

KURTZ: At worst he had balls deflated.

HOLDER: No, let me finish, Howie. The reason I say this is because everybody knows or suspects that he did something wrong. Give me a break.  He did it. The problem is that the NFL again failed in their investigation just like in the O.J. case they botched it. This was a botched investigation. And we know that he allegedly deflated the balls and had a role in it. That being said, it was a poor prosecution on their part. But here's the thing, the media is afraid of Roger Goodell and the NFL. So that's why this coverage and that's why Sony at the very top in the entertainment world won't cover what they do properly because they're afraid. It's the code of America, silence or death. If you don't do what we expect you to do -- this is what the NFL says, and then we're going to punish you.

KURTZ: Hold on now, unless you're a network with a multibillion dollars in contracts to carry NFL games, why are the media afraid of Roger Goodell, the Commissioner and the NFL?

HOLDER: Because everybody is tied to the NFL in one way or another. A major network -- the NFL has given contracts, broadcasting contracts, to every single network because they want to hand it out to everybody just for this reason. If you don't do that, we're going to punish you and we're going to give you a bad schedule, or we may not bring you back to the bargaining table. And you know, if you don't do what we say, then we may not give you authorization to use our images in your movies or whatever the reason, the NFL acts like a huge mafia organization and the media is still afraid, still afraid to cover it properly.

KURTZ: Well, they're certainly not afraid of Tom Brady, and here's a cover of New York Post with deflated footballs. They are still your balls, Tom.  And looking at some of the columns, one New York Post columnist said lying Tom Brady proves cheaters do win. Sports Illustrated -- Tom Brady got away with murder. Why was this bitter pill to swallow for all the media types who apparently do not like Tom Brady or the Patriots?

HOLDER: Because they wanted -- they didn't want to go after the NFL. To my point, that everybody is -- because the media is so afraid of the NFL, in this case they have to report negatively about the NFL and how they lost and how a $3 million Ted Wells report, $3 million report failed in their investigation to properly bring him down and win in federal court. Keep in mind, judges like to stay out of these CBA union disputes. That's what the agreement says arbitration is what's supposed to happen. They don't want this to end up in court. So they're afraid and now they actually have to go after Goodell.

KURTZ: Well, we'll see if that happens. But it's clear that even when Tom Brady wins, he loses in the eyes of the media. By the way, Brady on his Facebook page saying I'm sorry, the league had to go through this trying to strike a conciliatory note. I've got to go. But, Tamara Holder thanks very much for joining us from Montreal.

HOLDER: Thank you.

KURTZ: Coming up, Carly Fiorina on beating CNN, on Donald Trump, on Hillary Clinton, and a candid assessment about the media skepticism toward her.

And later, James Rosen on whether a new documentary is fair to conservative icon Bill Buckley.


KURTZ: Perhaps no presidential candidate has surprised the media elite more than Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO who wasn't taken very seriously at first but, boy, is that changing. I sat down with her here in Washington.


KURTZ: Carly Fiorina, welcome.

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

KURTZ: In the beginning of the media treated you as a curiosity, only woman on the Republican side. Maybe she's really running for V.P., isn't that interesting. Now, the press is taking you more seriously as you move up in the polls. On balance, have the media been fair to you?

FIORINA: Yes, on balance I think they have been. I think it was understandable in a way, the whole media couldn't understand how an outsider could possibly be viewed credibly, and now what do we have three outsiders at the top of the polls. I think the media and the establishment sort of missed how sick people really are of the professional political class and what politics has become. But all in all, I think the media has treated me quite fairly.

KURTZ: You said all the attention lavished on Donald Trump was a wake-up call not just for the professional political establishment but for the media as well, which didn't think that somebody who hadn't done this before could be a credible candidate.

FIORINA: That's right. I think everybody sort of woke up and realized what the polls have been telling us for some time. So over 82 percent of the American people -- according to a Fox News poll by the way, think that we now have a professional political class and they put the media in that professional political class that sort of more concerned with preserving status quo than on getting the right work done.

KURTZ: You took on CNN over its polling criteria for the debate. You did a round of interviews including with me, and the network changing its rules this week to allow the use of more recent polls and that almost definitely lands you on the prime time stage in ten days. Did you win anything else in taking on CNN?

FIORINA: Well, you know I think people just manifestly thought it was unfair. I don't think CNN started out intending to be unfair. I think as they explained in previous presidential cycles, there have been a lot more polls between August 6th and September 10th. In this case there weren't very many.

KURTZ: On that point, your campaign sent an email to supporters that said mainstream media is doing everything they can to keep Carly out of the debate because they know Carly as Hillary's fiercest and most effective critic. First of all, CNN not the whole mainstream media but that suggests that CNN was targeting you and didn't want you on that stage.

FIORINA: Well, you know when you look at the rules and the fact there was only one candidate who was disadvantaged so severely by their original set of rules, when you looked at the situation and saw that there was only one candidate that moved from the bottom seven into the top ten, indeed the top three, it's hard to walk away from a conclusion that somehow I was being disadvantaged. That's how a lot of people felt. There were a lot of people all across the country, thousands and thousands of people across the country who said you know what this just isn't fair. We want to hear from her. Good for them. I really appreciate it.

KURTZ: They'll hear from Carly Fiorina. You made a video in 2008 for the McCain campaign in which you talked about Hillary Clinton.

FIORINA: I have such great admiration and empathy for Hillary Clinton. I have great admiration for her, because I know what it takes in some small measure to do what she has done. She is obviously incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined.

KURTZ: Now you mostly call her a liar.

FIORINA: Well, both of those statements are true. She's very hard working. She's very intelligent. I think she is empathetic. She is very focused. She has dedicated her life to public service. All of that is true and she's lied. She's lied about Benghazi, she's lied about her emails, and she's lied about her server. And I do not think we can permit her to become President of the United States. Both of those things are true.

KURTZ: Do you think the press coverage of Hillary on some of these issues particularly the email debacle has been too soft?

FIORINA: Well, probably. I think she has demonstrably broken the law.  She clearly has broken the rules at the State Department. And there's just no possibility that she wasn't trafficking in classified information.

KURTZ: There's been an awful lot of coverage of that.

FIORINA: Yes, it's true. It's true. And I think maybe the media gets distracted by other things like Donald Trump for example. I mean, Donald Trump has probably gotten ten times the coverage of Hillary Clinton, and yet here we have someone who served as Secretary of State who is running for the Presidency of the United States who had a server in her basement, and had all of this classified sensitive information on a private device.  That's a stunning development actually.

KURTZ: Donald Trump has probably gotten 100 times the coverage of Carly Fiorina. Since you bought him up, immigration, you are not for ending birth rights citizenship, an issue that Trump has been pushing and you criticized him for pushing that issue. Explain.

FIORINA: You know ending birth right citizenship realistically isn't going to happen. It would require one of two things, a constitutional amendment or for the 14th amendment to be challenged in court. Neither one of those things is likely to happen. And to me this is classic politics actually.  You put some bright shiny object over here and you distract everybody with something that isn't likely to happen in the meantime the border still isn't secured.

KURTZ: You say on immigration that if you came here illegally you don't get a path to citizenship, but you say maybe you get a path to legal status. Will that position hurt you with some Republican voters?

FIORINA: I don't know. It's possible. But I do think that denying someone a pathway to citizenship is the appropriate consequence for coming here illegally and staying here illegally. And many of these people actually are working and so we need to give them the opportunity to work assuming, of course, that they're not criminals and that they pay their back taxes, etcetera.

KURTZ: On your position on birth rights citizenship, Author Ann Coulter says she despises you with the hot hate of a thousand suns.

FIORINA: Well, I guess that statement speaks for itself. She also said that she wouldn't mind if Donald Trump performed abortions in the White House as long as he got his immigration plan through. I think that statement speaks for itself as well.

KURTZ: A restrained answer. Is it fundamentally unfair for the media to lavish so much air time on Trump?

FIORINA: Well, let me just say this, Howard. You and I have been talking now for how long, seven or eight minutes, at least a quarter, maybe a third of your questions have been about Donald Trump.

KURTZ: One time you brought him up.

FIORINA: I think that's more attention than is merited honestly.

KURTZ: Ok, so let's move on to Hewlett Packard. You said in many interviews no secret you were fired in a boardroom brawl. There is a debate about your record there. One thing that's no debate about is you left with a package worth about $42 million. Does that make you part of the one percent economical elite that may have trouble understanding the problems of ordinary working folks?

FIORINA: Well, I started out as a secretary. I've earned absolutely everything. I didn't inherit anything other than a good work ethic and strong values. Shareholders voted on absolutely every aspect of my pay, period. And that number you can pull lots of numbers out of the air because it was based on the value of H.P. stock at that moment. It's gone down and up. I've been very clear about our net worth released two years of complete tax returns. I would just say this. There are people in this race worth a lot more money than I am, Hillary Clinton being one of them.

KURTZ: Can't dispute that based on what we know. In that same 2008 video, you said the following. Based on personal experience, bold women and women in power are characterized and scrutinized differently than male counterparts are. Has that been true of new this campaign?

FIORINA: Of course. Women in positions of authority or influence or power are criticized, scrutinized, caricatured differently. That's still true unfortunately. That's still true. Exhibit A, how often have I been asked the question whether or not I'm running for Vice President? My male counterparts in this race are not asked that question. People are still asking that question.


FIORINA: Yes, absolutely. I'm qualified to be President of the United States. I'm qualified to win this job, and yet more qualified than many of my male counterparts to be honest. And yet people -- some people, keep asking me whether I'm running to be Vice President. So there's no doubt that women still are caricatured and characterized differently.

KURTZ: Does this attitude tick you off?

FIORINA: I've grown used to it. But it also doesn't stop me.

KURTZ: Carly Fiorina thanks very much.

FIORINA: Thank you.


KURTZ: Ahead, Bill O'Reilly takes on Jorge Ramos over the infamous Trump encounter and journalism itself.

But first, the nasty debates which William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal that may have changed TV news, James Rosen weighs in on that.


KURTZ: William F. Buckley was the Founder of National Review and a giant on the right, Gore Vidal was a leading Author and Intellectual -- on the left. A new movie recounts how ABC as a distant third-place network brought them together during the 1968 conventions and they couldn't stand each other, a warning that this clip includes a troubling anti-gay slur.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say that again. I'll say it a third time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, twice was enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's always to the right and almost always in the wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I confess that anything complicated confuses him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop calling me a...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's stop calling names.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll stay plastered.


KURTZ: Our own James Rosen reviews the film Best of Enemies in this week's issue of National Review. I spoke to Fox's Chief Washington Correspondent here in Studio One.


KURTZ: James Rosen, welcome.


KURTZ: A documentary about televised debates that took place nearly half a century ago. Why should we care?

ROSEN: Well, the theory of the filmmakers is that particular clash on television of August 1968 between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal prefigured the media debates and cable news that we have today.

KURTZ: So that single series of encounters responsible for the entire snarky polarized television culture as we know it today?

ROSEN: I called it a theory.

KURTZ: What's your view?

ROSEN: My view is that probably it was the first great instance of this kind of riveting tension, to the point where it almost becomes physical and gets out of hand, and it was a shocking event in its time. One of the great most memorable moments in TV history, but probably had it never occurred, we probably would have cable news we have today anyway I would expect.

KURTZ: I tend to agree with you on that. You think of these two guys as being intellectual giants and thinking grand thoughts. You watch them now.  They can barely look at one another. They got down in the gutter.

ROSEN: They did. And the clip where he was Gore Vidal called Bill Buckley a Nazi and Buckley responded by an epiphyte for Vidal's homosexuality.


ROSEN: And keep him plastered, you know it's a shame to me that this attracts the attention it does and that this is the documentary we have because William F. Buckley, Jr., was perhaps the greatest debater of the 20th century on the public stage, and for him to be cheaply remembered for this shattering moment where he lost his temper due to provocations that were being thrown at him is akin to remembering Hank Aaron for one particular time at the plate where he struck out.

KURTZ: I think he's remembered for founding National Review, for being a great conservative thinker, and a lot of people barely remember Gore Vidal.

ROSEN: But we don't have a definitive Buckley documentary, or some six DVD Buckley documentary. We have this.

KURTZ: But when you interviewed Bill Buckley 15 years ago, you tried to ask him about the Gore Vidal episode, and what happened.

ROSEN: Well, he said you won't. I said but your own magazine National Review gives the excuse for my doing so. I held up the recent issue of that time where it had a full page ad for Absolute Vodka with Gore Vidal's face on it, and he basically said we wouldn't deny any advertiser unless it's obscene. Are you raising a question of whether a photograph of Vidal is obscene?


KURTZ: Now kudos to National Review for publishing your unvarnished critique about its inspirational founder. You say among other things -- first of all, you don't pull punches about this was hardly Buckley's finest hour. But you also say you think that filmmakers perhaps tilted a little bit against Buckley in favor of Gore Vidal.

ROSEN: Right. And I think -- in their own minds probably made a great striving effort to be fair. They interviewed partisans of both combatants and they talked -- they portrayed them as equally haunted by this great event. It was clear just from watching the movie that Vidal in their minds was more committed to liberty than Bill Buckley and I think that's a myth.

KURTZ: And just briefly one thing that comes across from these interviews and from that documentary itself is this wasn't put on for cameras. These guys really despised each other.

ROSEN: In fact, Buckley -- they asked ABC News did in 1968, is there anyone you wouldn't go on with, and he said Gore Vidal. To this day I'm curious as to why Buckley went through with the program at all.

KURTZ: Big personalities. James Rosen, thanks very much for joining us.

ROSEN: You too, Howie, great to be with you.


KURTZ: Great Buckley imitation.

After the break, the PBS Ombudsman -- for appearing to stout, the administration's lying on Iran.

And a high decibel confrontation between Bill O'Reilly and Jorge Ramos on the line between anchoring and advocacy.


KURTZ: Gwen Ifill, Co-Anchor of the PBS News hour got into trouble this week on Twitter. She posted a graphic from the supporters of the Iran nuclear deal, which was re-tweeted by the State Department that revised the time bomb chart wielded by Bibi Netanyahu when he gave that speech to Congress, "With the Iran deal, Iran's significantly less dangerous."  Ifill's top line, take that, Bibi. Network Ombudsman Mike Getlar, slammed Ifill who also Hosts Washington Week, saying to personalize it by saying take that, Bibi, is in my book inexcusable for an experienced journalist who is the Co-Anchor of a nightly news program watched by millions. Ifill tweeted that she should have been clearer, that she was repeating the argument of supporters not her own. Her executive producer says Ifill was trying to underline the White House's own tone and remains an unbiased observer. Yet another reminder though that tweeting can be risky for journalists, especially as a fair-mined program as the News hour.

After Jorge Ramos disrupted that Donald Trump news conference by shouting questions his criticism of Trump's immigration plan refusing to sit-down and getting himself ejected, Bill O'Reilly got his turn to grill the Univision Anchor.


BILL O'REILLY, HOST, "THE O'REILLY FACTOR": You're the anchor man, how can you possibly cover illegal immigration fairly when you're an activist, when you're a proponent of allowing them amnesty? How can you possibly cover the story? You should excuse yourself from it or recuse yourself from it.

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: I'm just a reporter. I don't think you're the right person to lecture me on advocacy and journalism when you spend most of your program giving opinions.


O'REILLY: I'm a commentator, that's what I do.


KURTZ: Now, I get Ramos saying that O'Reilly is just as opinionated but Bill is right. He is in the commentary business, and Ramos should abandon the pro immigrant diatribes and the publicity stunts if he wants to be a credible news anchor.

Still to come, your top tweets and Stephen Colbert mixes it up with Jeb Bush just in time to promote his CBS debut.


KURTZ: When Stephen Colbert makes his CBS debut in two days, he'll be interviewing Jeb Bush whose campaign asked people to contribute at least $3 for a chance to win a ticket to watch him on the Late Show.


STEPHEN COLBERT, "LATE SHOW" HOST: I think the contest is a great idea. But here's the thing, no one from Jeb's campaign asked me if this was ok -- with me to raise money off my first show, where's my cut of the three bucks, Governor? Where's this stuff?


KURTZ: Colbert not only milked it for a laugh, he embarrassed Bush into lowering the fee to $1. Let's face it, you can't buy this kind of publicity.

Top tweets, the Hugh Hewitt ask Donald Trump gotcha questions on foreign policy.

Rambo said just because he doesn't know the answer doesn't know the answers to questions, doesn't mean he asked gotcha questions.

Donald Trump not concerned that he didn't know the answers yet, he'll learn everything fast no doubt.

Since Hewitt lobs softball at nobody, fair questions and the answers substantially -- stick to Fox and Friends.

Since we all know the Donald this time isn't a foreign affairs guru, Hewitt was looking for -- lime light for himself.

This is the second anniversary of "MediaBuzz," and I would like to take a moment here to thank you, not just for watching but for emailing and tweeting and Facebooking, and being part of a conversation, even those who love taking me on from the left or right or somewhere in the middle. We've been the top rated show in cable news for our Sunday morning timeslot by far since we've began. And I like to think it's because we're building a community here. Thanks you again for being a part of it. That's it for us this Labor Day weekend. I'm Howard Kurtz. I hope you're enjoying the holiday. Check out our Facebook page. Give us a like. We post a lot of original content there in response to your questions, and you can email me Ask a media question and you might just get a response.

We're back here next Sunday at 11:00 and at 5:00 Eastern with the latest Buzz.

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