NY Times demands gun control; media tout anti-Trump 'revolt'

San Bernardino changes 2016 race


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

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the Buzz Meter this Sunday, violence in America, the New York Times demanding more gun control in its first page one editorial in 95 years. The New York Daily News taunting the Republicans -- gun control, the morning after a shooting rampage in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead.


SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've got to say a lot of folks in the mainstream media, a lot of Democrats were saying how insensitive to talk about the second amendment at a time like this. Let me tell you, I am not interested in being sensitive to Islamic terrorists.
You don't stop the bad guys by taking away our guns, you stop the bad guys by using our guns.

IGOR VOLSKY, THINK PROGRESS: When it comes to gun violence, time and time again, all we hear from these people is thoughts and prayers, and people keep on dying and dying.


KURTZ: And that California attack just days after three people were killed at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Are the media turning a debate over mass murder into a partisan blame game?

What about the bizarre spectacle of the TV reporters rummaging through the terrorists' California apartment. The New York Times saying Donald Trump take a new turn, as they play up a Republican Party revolt aimed at stopping the front-runner.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN: The New York Times reporting tonight that Republicans are panicking, they are panicking, they running around scared like chickens with their heads cut off, because they now are finally realizing that Donald Trump could go all the way.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I have two questions to ask anybody who is thinking about this process, so who takes on Donald Trump, and when do they do it?

JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: We have an anonymous senator saying this is Armageddon for our party, but I am afraid to go on the record because I'm afraid of being attacked.


KURTZ: But are the media hyping this alleged anti-Trump effort when no one seems to be leading it.

Plus, Rahm Emanuel facing calls for his resignation, and a police cover-up a year after, an officer under indictment was captured on video shooting a black teenager 16 times. Is the press getting tough on the Chicago Mayor?

I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."

The New York Times running that front page editorial for the first time since 1920, calling for sweeping gun control measures. In the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, including banning certain types of weapons and ammunition, and saying there's no need to debate the peculiar wording of the second amendment. The paper declared that is a moral outrage, a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.

Joining us now to analyze the media's role in this fast-moving story and the impact on the Presidential campaign, Ed Henry Fox's Chief White House Correspondent who is covering the Hillary Clinton campaign, Jim Garrity, a Contributor and Blogger from National Review and Co-author of Heavy Lifting, Grow Up, Get a Job, Raise a Family, and other manly advise, and Penny Lee, a Democratic Strategist and Commentator. Everybody weigh in on the New York Times taking this step of putting the gun control message out there on the front page.

ED HENRY, FOX'S CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Without agreeing or disagreeing with what they want, this is exactly what big media institutions should do, is get involved, get their hands dirty on the big issues of the day. People are scared right now. These kinds of -- there's terror, number one, but there is an explosion of gun violence in recent months, recent years, and it appears that our leaders in Washington are doing nothing about it. In fairness to the Republicans, I think we should press the Republicans as New York Times did, because the Republican Congress hasn't done anything, but the Democrats to suggest from President Obama to Hillary Clinton that there's some magic formula here that something on gun control would have stopped what happened in California, that's simply not true and we need to call them out on that.

JIM GARRITY, NATIONAL REVIEW: I've rarely seen a newspaper one to desperately crying for attention. Hey, look at us, see what we're doing.
This is really important. We know you don't pay attention to our regular editorial, also it screamed envy at the New York Daily News, why is this other newspaper getting attention for attacking other people. We can be outrageous and controversial, too.

PENNY LEE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think it was absolutely appropriate to be able to draw, as Ed was saying, to draw out the debate. And that's what it is, is to be provocative and to put out that debate forward to the American public. This -- regardless of San Bernardino, there have been multiple episodes year in and year out, and the attention -- or a solution hasn't been drawn, so to bring and provoke that debate absolutely was necessary.

KURTZ: Interesting because in the digital age, it doesn't matter where the editorial runs, but for the people who read the print edition of course, was fancy attention getting device. So Jim, we've all been saying the campaign's focus has shifted after a horrible Paris attack and now we have San Bernardino. If the media covering this through a tighter lens now after 14 people killed in that California massacre, does that help Donald Trump?

GARRITY: Probably not. But I much prefer having a conversation about what do we do about ISIS, compared to, oh, my god, did you hear what Donald Trump just said? What do you think? This is a major issue for the candidates to talk about as opposed to the controversy du jour of did he say he wanted a Muslim registry?

KURTZ: It's kind of clarifying. Ed, President Obama going on television tonight -- only the third one from the oval office. After all the media criticism, saying he missed a moment he wasn't reflecting the fears and concerns of the American people, is this kind of a do-over?

HENRY: It's kind of a do-over for the President. I think the media up until that news conference in Turkey that you mentioned, has given the President a pretty being pass. You go back a couple years ago when he was calling ISIS the J.V. team, and fast forward to the day of the Paris attacks, ok, it was bad timing, ABC News had taped the interview the day before, it ran on Friday morning of the attacks on Good Morning America.
But the President of United States said we have ISIS contained, and then over 100 people are slaughtered in Paris hours later. The President didn't get a lot of grief about that. He then at that news conference appeared a little listless about the whole deal, but specifically not just appearance, said my strategy is working, we don't need major changes. Look what is going on.

KURTZ: The press clearly not buying that argument.

Penny, are the media also pressing the Republican candidates, as they should in vociferous terms about what they would do?

LEE: I think they are trying, whether or not to get them pinned down is a whole other subject.


KURTZ: How many ground troops...

LEE: But every time you ask, especially like a Donald Trump who is very skilled going around the issues, other than to say good management, just wait and see, I'll be able do it, I am smart, smart, smart, and he allows that to happen. So I think they do have a problem on their hand, although they do try to ask the question, they never get answers.

KURTZ: We saw earlier at the top of the show the clips of various anchors talking about a Republican revolt, a so-called Republican establishment against Donald Trump. This sprung from a New York Times story that there was panic among the GOP, because Donald Trump looks like a serious threat to win this nomination. Why is this story?

HENRY: This should have panicked a long time ago. If they are panicked now, I am not saying they should or shouldn't be, I am a reporter, but wake up and smell the coffee. Donald Trump has been dominating this race on both sides. He's had the Republican...


KURTZ: There was this refrain in the press, it's a summer squall.

HENRY: You know what? The press was wrong and they're probably wrong now, pick whatever you want to say. So I am very skeptical when I hear this media narrative starting at the New York Times as you say, and then parroted by all other kinds of people that left, right and center, there's panic, and the Republicans have to do something. Nobody knows what they can do or if they'll actually have the guts to do anything. Because every Republican Presidential candidate who has tried to challenge Donald Trump, starting with Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, they have all gone down. So the pundits who told us Donald Trump was not for real, now saying the Republicans have to do something, I don't believe these now either.

KURTZ: Jim, the New York Times on the editorial page has really gone after Trump vehemently, here's today's paper, front page, news story, 95,000 words, many of them...


KURTZ: No, this is all about the Donald, and it's a news story in which various experts analyze everything that Trump has said this week. I'll let you explain a bit more. What do you make of this as a news story?

GARRITY: The dark power of his words, Howard. There's something occult about it. It's a lengthy exercise, it feels like its approaching Godwin's law. You know who else was interested in expanding real estate purchases in Germany. They the nefarious words he used, we. I don't mean the friend yes. I remember yes, we can. Do you remember the Obama ad from 2012 saying Mitt Romney, he is not one of us? I am king of the Donald Trump haters club.

KURTZ: A charter membership?

GARRITY: Going back to the '80, it was Spy Magazine and myself, but it's more than a little unfair that John Kasich ad compared them to Nazis.
Donald Trump is not the man in the high castle.

HENRY: The Obama campaign in 2012 and he also had an ad saying that Mitt Romney gave a worker cancer.

KURTZ: Fine to criticize Donald Trump's words, fine to criticize what he knows he's talking about, but this language analysis says he's like George Wallace, he's like Joe McCarthy. What do you make of that?

LEE: Again, it goes back to the earlier point, this is not someone who sits down for interviews, so they are relying on what they've heard in the rallies, what they have seen and heard from his own speeches, because he doesn't sit down for printed newspaper.


LEE: And he goes on television and dials in...

KURTZ: Trump regularly...


KURTZ: Trump regularly talks to Robert Costa at the Washington Post. He has talked to Maggie Simpson at the New York Times. I don't think inaccessibility is the problem. He did not comment for this story.

LEE: He did not comment for this story. And again, but he doesn't go -- when you ask the questions, he doesn't have answers so therefore they're parsing his words and going through to try to determine who he is as a person based on what they see as far as in the forums and in the larger public, and the drive-by run-through television interviews.

GARRITY: Instead of chewing over the sinister implications of his policy details, they go through the sinister implications of his words. How are we going to do it, Howard? We're just going to do it. That's how we're going to do it. This circular logic, half-completed sentences so there leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

HENRY: He used the word horrible 14 times. He used the word weak 13 times.


KURTZ: It's horrible when terrorists kill innocent civilians, so it's not out of blue.

HENRY: One of the lead anecdotes about Donald Trump's language is that a 12-year-old girl at Virginia saying "I am scared, what are you going to do to protect this country?" I am not going to defend everything Donald Trump has said or done, but when a 12-year-old stands up and says I'm scared, if your language is a little harsh, it's because a 12-year-old is saying...

KURTZ: Exactly. Let me turn to Democrats now and Hillary Clinton on ABC's This Week, this morning George Stephanopoulos, who of course worked with Hillary Clinton, of course was criticized for making the $75,000 in donations to the Clinton Foundation, pretty touch but viewing about her emails and what she would do about ISIS, and then played he this clip from Donald Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE She's do a couple minutes in Iowa, meaning a short period of time, and they she goes home, you don't see her for five, six days. She goes home and goes to sleep. I am telling you. She doesn't have the strength. She doesn't have the stamina.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: I guess you don't agree.

CLINTON: Well, who can agree with anything he says? It's subject to one second of fact checking.


KURTZ: Let's go around quickly. What do you make of Stephanopoulos posting that, as a video correspondent?

LEE: I think it was a great way to see Mrs. Clinton's reaction. It is true. It is a one-minute fact check he's doing. It shows her own ability to laugh at herself.

KURTZ: Shorts answers.

GARRITY: What a laugh it is. The observation about Trump, yes, he does do a lot of televised interviews. How often does Hillary Clinton do tough, hostile questions?

HENRY: Not very often, but I think on the fact check part she mentioned.
I've been with out there. She doesn't space it out by six days. She sometimes has a lighter schedule those other candidates. She's also far ahead, whereas on the Republican side they're fighting for dear life because they've got so many candidates and they're closer, but she doesn't space her events out by six days.

KURTZ: A little bit of political overstatement. All right, let me get a break. Send me a Twitter message @HowardKurtz, and you can email us

Ahead, we're looking whether the media are playing a polarizing role after the mass shootings in San Bernardino and a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, but when we come back, do journalist no longer really care?


KURTZ: It was another Hillary document dump, nearly 8,000 pages of emails, some of them containing classified information, but nothing that the mainstream media considered a bombshell, some conservative commentators questioning why this wasn't a larger story.


ANDREA TANTAROS, FOX NEWS: I don't think any charges are going to be bought against Hillary Clinton. I don't think at all.

She did put security in jeopardy, the largest national security breach in history and nobody seems to care about it.

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS: She cannot escape responsibility by saying these emails weren't marked. Of course, they weren't marked.

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS: But nobody cares. That's how she escapes responsibility.


KURTZ: So the reporting on this was mostly about she couldn't find Showtime to watch Homeland. And a lot of commentators on Fox and elsewhere saying we're missing the news value here. What's your take?

HENRY: Hillary Clinton has 999 problems and the FBI is one of them. There are now 999 emails that had some sort of classified information. At the beginning the story in March, I know the deal, there was no classified information in my server. That was not true. As Brit Hume was saying, she says it was not marked. In fairness, a lot of officials are say you're being sent real-time sensitive information, of course it hasn't been marked. The point is her server was going around the system that marked things classified or not. At the end of the day, is there a bombshell?
No, but does that mean it's not serious? No, as well.

KURTZ: There was some back-and-forth about her Benghazi testimony a couple years ago.

Penny, are the media just tired of this story so there are more documents come -- and there is nothing that can be classified as "bombshell," and it seems more incremental.

LEE: I think you had every major outlet cover it, at least at some point.
So they did cover it. Whether or not there was a bombshell or not, there wasn't, so I think people are turning their attention to what is the outcome of the FBI investigation. That is where the focus will be and whether or not the Justice Department -- if on recommendations from the FBI, whether or not they find anything. If anything is actionable. That's where the story is moving.

KURTZ: I was surprised, Jim, that Charlie Rose didn't bring this up. But he did -- I think that seems to be the media du jour.

GARRITY: You were surprised, Howard. Some of us weren't. I am not worried that grandma can't use the fax machine anymore. Back before Hillary Clinton was a candidate, I remember New York Times and other institutions were doing good reporting on the idea of the Clinton Foundation donors getting arms deals approved, or as countries, state departments of war, she never got asked about those questions. There were a couple old scandals that still haven't gotten addressed yet. I would much rather she be asked about that, so you're having trouble with the remote on your TV, aren't you?

HENRY: In fairness, those emails showing a quid pro quo perhaps on the Clinton Foundation are not there. Is that because there's future document dumps coming on New Year's Eve, for example? Or were those emails destroyed? Or maybe less nefarious, they do not exist.

KURTZ: Maybe it's purely coincidental.


KURTZ: I'll expect you to be working New Year's Eve for the latest.

All right, Jim Garrity, Penny Lee, Ed Henry, thanks very much for joining us.

Ahead, should journalists be calling for Rahm Emanuel's resignation after a Chicago police cover-up in the killing of a teenager?

Up next, how are different news outlets covering the controversy swirling around Donald Trump. Our media microscope is straight ahead.


KURTZ: We're focusing our microscopic efforts on Donald Trump. Our data comes from the new analytics company which examines the top networks, newspapers, and websites at our request. Now Trump had over 2,000 mentions on November 22nd. That was the day he made those comments, disputed comments about having seen a TV report on thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11. The next day, more than doubled to nearly
5,000 mentions. After dying down over the Thanksgiving Weekend, Trump mentions at a peek, this Tuesday 5,170. Not that much changed in the tone of coverage. Had did drop by seven points, as this is the day after those Muslims comments initially.

While it bounced around between then and this past Wednesday, you see negative in red, positive in green. The average was 65 percent negative,
35 percent positive, a 2 to 1 split against the billionaire. Now let's break it down by outlet, and here's a bit of a surprise, MSNBC which covered him more than any other network, 69 percent negative against Trump, CNN, 70 percent negative against Trump, Fox News a tad higher, 72 percent negative against Trump. Keep in mind that many conservative commentators are major Trump critics, ABC, NBC, CBS, we have them combined here just under 68 percent negative. And Trump actually fairs best with the New York Times, 58 percent negative mentions. All this could fuel the Donald's argument that the mainstream media are against him, but as we've shown you before by our count, all the major Republican candidates drew more negative than positive.

Coming up, this newspaper cover ripping the Republicans in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting rampage ignites a fierce backlash.

And later, the Politico reporter who offered to give questions to Chelsea Clinton in advance regrets it, sort of.


KURTZ: The morning after a Muslim couple went on a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, New York's Daily News took aim at Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, and Paul Ryan for tweeting about their prayers for the victims.
God isn't fixing this, blared the screaming headline, calling Republicans cowards who could end the scourge but were offering platitudes. And with that, the media politicization of the latest tragedy was under way.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK, FOX NEWS: I say this, if you want to line up with terrorists and try to take God away, you're not on the right side. That's all I have to say to the politicians who want to tell you to stop praying.

ANGELA MCGLOWAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know what?? Everybody stop praying and just go to the Daily News, because apparently they have a direct connection to God.

CHARLIE ROSE, CBS NEWS: Everybody is I think frustrated, everybody is asking why, and everybody's asking what can we do, but we have to do something, as New York Daily News say God is not going to fix it. We have to fix it.


KURTZ: So are the media exacerbating tensions after the California massacre and the Planned Parenthood shootings in Colorado? Joining us now Gayle Trotter, Conservative Commentator who contributes to Town Hall, the Hill, and other outlets, and Richard fowler, Host of a Nationally- syndicated liberal radio show, Gayle, what do you think of this Daily News cover?

GAYLE TROTTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: It's the same thing that New York Times did. They took their editorial and put it on the first page. They just did it in a more concise fashion, with one sentence being their thesis. It shows that many in the media assume that gun control will fix the mass shootings that we're having and the terrorist attacks. It's offensive to a lot of Americans, because it feels like it's an attack not only on our first amendment right, but also the second amendment rights to make sure we can protect ourselves and our families. So it seems like a double whammy.

KURTZ: And by the way, unlike the New York Times, this is a headline for a news story nominated editorial. So Richard, some conservative commentators saying this is typical of the media just turning these shootings into a plea for more gun control and suggesting that those who disagree are somehow abetting violence.

RICHARD FOWLER, HOST OF A NATIONALLY-SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: Where there's smoke there's fire, Howie. The shootings over the past two weeks say we have a large problem, and the media is just highlighting that problem.

KURTZ: No problem whatsoever with this cover?

FOWLER: No, I think the media is point out here is that there's a fallacy in the Republican's arguments. They're saying our thoughts, our prayers --
(Inaudible) death. And we have seen no works. Nobody is saying -- I don't think the media or New York Daily News is saying that passing background checks is going to stop terrorism. I think there's a time for you are to push forward action. Case in point, right, when the media covered the Selma -- the protester crossing the bridge 50 years ago, the idea was by covering this we could invoke action in Congress. That's exactly what they did. The media is doing it once again.

KURTZ: The tone is different to me by Selma. By the way, the Daily News is Zukerman and John Leo, a conservative columnist and friend of Zukerman for three decades called this cover gratuitous slap at Christian and people who mourn the dead with prayer. Meanwhile, the New York Times editorial we mentioned earlier calling for sweeping -- going further that President Obama's approach. Erick Erickson, the Red State Founder and Fox News Contributor took aim literally at this editorial if we can put it up. He posted that online. So in response to Richard on this notion that the media are just trying to highlight a problem, which there is a serious problem in America.

TROTTER: If that's true, they just wouldn't have highlighted President Obama said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims. That's the way it should be. We should have that expression. It really just shows their answer to it one way, that they think gun control would be the answer. And I think that that belies the fact we do want action, but we have different ways of acting to it, and the media is taking sides on this in a very gratuitous way that swipes at a lot of Americans. It's distasteful.

KURTZ: Anything gratuitous or swiping at the other side?


FOWLER: I don't think they're swiping at Americans at all. If you're a legal gun owner and gotten the gun the right way and you are a regular American citizen with a gun, that's perfectly fine. I think what they're saying is there's no reason the individual who shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs or the San Bernardino shooter should have had those types of weapons. The reason why they have it is because gun laws...

KURTZ: San Bernardino was clearly a case of a Muslim couple who became radicalized by Islam, and conservative commentators are -- are they trying to thunder this into an attack on Muslims, because the New York Post changed its headlines to Muslim killers as more information came out.

FOWLER: I don't think you can look at San Bernardino a vacuum, right? If you look at the past two weeks, you have San Bernardino, you have Colorado Springs, what it says to us as American...

KURTZ: Talk about the way the media are framing this.

FOWLER: I think there's the problem, because terrorism doesn't know religion or creed or race. Terrorism is crazy people acting crazy and acting irrational. That's the same thing we saw in Colorado Springs and the same thing we saw in San Bernardino, crazy people acting out.

KURTZ: Sometimes it's true that these are crazy people acting out, but in the case of San Bernardino, maybe they were crazy, but this was obviously preplanned in the name of religion.

TROTTER: It's not crazy. It's a purposeful act. That's why the FBI is investigating it as an act of terror. I think the really interesting thing about this cover is also the business aspect of it. They knew this was going to be controversial. They got 11 million views on Facebook, they got
2 million views on Twitter. So they were jumping into a very important conversation that we're having as a country right now.

KURTZ: Let me go to what happened on Friday, as TV reporters went into the apartment of the terrorists in California with the FBI's permission, with the landlord's permission, CNN and Fox News certainly had live shots from there, but were cautious in what they showed. MSNBC was on the air the longest, the first, and the most controversial. Let's take a look.


KERRY SANDERS, MSNBC: Come over here, you can see the baby's toys. We have really quite a number of toys. There is a teddy bear here.

Let's just hold these out. So -- yeah, this is clearly a birthday party that was taking place with the cake and the smiles, and it looks like somebody's nice birthday party there.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC: Let's make sure we don't see the children -- let's not show the child, Kerry.

SANDERS: So California -- let me just look at it first, ok.
Rifa Sutana Farook. Ok, I am going to step away here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't show pictures.

SANDERS: Ok. I take it we don't want to see the pictures.


KURTZ: We just blurred out that driver's license. MSNBC did not. That was MSNBC's Kerry Sanders. What's your take, Gayle?

TROTTER: Apart from the legal issues and investigation issues from the FBI, as a mother I am just horrified, because they're showing personal pictures of children who are in no way implicated in this at all. I think it's a complete abrogation of journalistic integrity and objectivity, and it's very ghoulish.

KURTZ: MSNBC issued an apology. We regret that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review.

FOWLER: I think the apology is warranted, Howard. And I think this is what happens when you have a 24 hour news cycle in situations like this.
Every news network is trying to get to the front of the story.

KURTZ: You know Fox's Will Carr, who reported from that scene, which was more cautious, as was CNN told me he remembered feeling ashamed witnessing a feeding frenzy that was out of control, hundreds of journalists swarming the apartments and he made a point of not touching the personal items by showing them, but in retrospect he just wished he had taped it, fed it to New York so that it could've been reviewed.

After the break, we'll examine these same issues. In the aftermath of the Planned Parenthood shootings, are the media tying this to Republican rhetoric.

And later, veteran Chicago Anchor Carol Marin on whether Rahm Emanuel tried to keep the real story of how an officer killed a black teenager from the press.


KURTZ: One question seemed to bounce around the media echo chamber after a crazed gunman killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Could this be linked to conservatives?


JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS: Should those who oppose abortion rights tone down their rhetoric?

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Do you think the rhetoric got out of hand on Planned Parenthood?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN: They say the rhetoric really has created this environment what has happened. Do you agree with that?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN: Carly Fiorina who said falsely that Planned Parenthood was guilty of harvesting a live baby's organs. Is it this kind of rhetoric that's fueling these mentally-unbalanced people to act?


KURTZ: Gayle Trotter, what do you think of the anchors repeatedly asking whether Republican candidates and others -- whether speaking out against abortion of Planned Parenthood could be linked to this violence -- could have inspired this attack?

TROTTER: Apart from the legal issue of whether or not it is incitement to violence, which clearly it is not, it does seem like a concerted effort by some in the media to morally shame Republican politicians from even talking about this issue, talking about Planned Parenthood, talking about these controversial videos, investigating Planned Parenthood at the Congressional and state levels. It seems a moral shaming about this very important issues that very much Americans care about to say we're not even going to have this discussion, because it might inspire someone to do something wrong.

KURTZ: Richard Fowler, the Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood said it is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy -- Planned Parenthood had nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create.

FOWLER: I am in the middle on this one. Carly's statement, she was wrong, right? They were not harvesting live body parts.

HENRY: They were talking about it.

FOWLER: But they weren't harvesting live body parts. Number two, I think there is a larger problem. I think this individual, I think his last name is Deere, he needs to be called what he is. He's a terrorist who engaged in terrorist activities in a political motivation.


FOWLER: The FBI is investigating it as an act of terror.

TROTTER: It's not clear.

FOWLER: The FBI is investigating it as an act of terror, because he's a terrorist.

TROTTER: It's based on one thing he said to a law enforcement official that is not on record. We don't even know the person is he said this to.
I think it's guilt by association.


FOWLER: That's a double standard.


FOWLER: When Muslims engage in this activity, they're automatically labeled as a terrorist.

KURTZ: It's domestic terrorism.

FOWLER: But it's terrorism.

KURTZ: All right. But what about Gayle's point that some in the media is trying to shame Republicans who believe -- or conservatives who believe as a matter of conscience. The country is so divided on this, that abortion is wrong, Planned Parenthood should be defunded. To link that to violence seems to me to be partisan blaming again.

FOWLER: I think when you talk about Planned Parenthood, let's have a debate about abortion if we want to, but abortion is the law of the land --
50 some odd years ago. So we can talk about defunding Planned Parenthood all we want to, but engaging in rhetoric, saying untruthful things about the organization which causes folks to radicalize, it's wrong.

KURTZ: This can go both ways. Ben Carson said both sides should tone down the rhetoric. And several pro-life leaders ripped him for calling on both sides to do it.

TROTTER: That's kind of Ben Carson. He comes across as being reasonable, but you just said we should have the abortion debate. My whole point is the media is trying to squelch the debate. And you should, but other than the you're saying it is tying -- possibly tying into the actions of this person, where there is really no evidence that he was motivated by a political reason to attack these people in Colorado Springs.

KURTZ: Is the media squelching the debate?

FOWLER: No, I don't the media is squelching the debate at all. The media covered the entirety of the debate. I don't think the media is squelching the debate. Let's see where the chips fall, but to engage in falsehoods about the organization and a woman's right to choose, that's where the line is.

KURTZ: It continues to bother me when either side plays this demonization game when there is violence and you tie it to people's words, I think it's an easy, cheap thing to do. Gayle Trotter, Richard Fowler, thanks for a good discussion.

Today, next on Media Buzz, President Obama's former chief of staff tied to an appalling police cover-up in Chicago. Is the press holding Rahm Emanuel accountable?


KURTZ: Rahm Emanuel is getting hammered by the press over a police cover-up, involving now-indicted officer who shot a black teenager 16 times. The Chicago Mayor fired his police chief after a freelance journalist forced the release of a dash-cam video showing the killing of Laquan McDonald. At a news conference, reporters pressed President Obama's former chief of staff on what price he would pay.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are a lot of questions in this room about you and your office.

RAHM EMANUEL, CHICAGO MAYOR: Well, you'll make that judgment. I think I am doing that job and I try to do it every day in a professional way.


KURTZ: Joining us now from South Bend, Indiana is Carol Marin, a Political Editor of Chicago's WMAQ, and Columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, who has been pursuing this story for more than a year. Carol, you were at that news conference, where we just saw Mayor Emanuel. Given the circumstances, were some reporters going too far by asking the mayor whether he would resign?

CAROL MARIN, CHICAGO SUN TIMES: I don't know if they were going too far on that, but they should know that Rahm Emanuel isn't going to resign and there's no way constitutionally to replace him. But the real questions and questions that honestly dominated that news conference, Howie, is what did the police know and the mayor and when did they finally fell us the truth about what they knew?

KURTZ: Well, you questioned the mayor about the suppression of evidence because without that video, this would not have exploded the way that it did. And he came back and he's done that in subsequent interviews to say, it would have been improper for him as the mayor of Chicago to look at the videotape or evidence while there was an ongoing police investigation.
Wouldn't he have been accused of tampering in the case if he had done that?

MARIN: That's his claim. He said he's doing what has always been done, which includes the daily administrations that went before him. But a circuit court judge didn't see that argument at all. The city police department wasn't currently investigating it. The Feds had taken it over.
The videotape was the videotape, and it was the judge that forced the mayor to release it, even though the city hall had fought that release for 13 months.

KURTZ: Given your pursuit of this story for a long time as I mentioned, do you the believe the mayor and his government, based on what we know, wanted the media to keep them from finding out what happened in this case involving Laquan McDonald at least until Emanuel was safely reelected?

MARIN: I think there's a reasonable question to that. The mayor denies it. He issued an op-ed today in both newspapers. But look, the fact is that Emanuel has done some good things in addressing past police torture and other misconduct, but he has not been transparent in Freedom of Information Act requests. Has resisted very grudgingly released material here. And the most important thing, Howie, the most important thing is right after this shooting occurred, his own police department released a statement saying Laquan McDonald had lunged at the officer, not just the police union but his own police department, and the superintendent admitted on our air that he knew of that error the very next day and it was not corrected.

KURTZ: It was freelance journalist Jamie Calvin who based on anonymous tip kept pursuing that devastating video. You wrote in the Sun Times that you're fed up with the federal government for moving slowly and Rahm Emanuel reversed himself and now says he welcomes the Justice Department investigation of Chicago Police practices. Do you believe this delay might have been related to Rahm's friend Barack Obama being in the White House?

MARIN: No, I don't necessarily think so. I think this is -- this is a controlling the narrative thing. You know Rahm Emanuel and how it works in Washington. You control the story and how it's reported. Rahm Emanuel has always argued, never let a crisis go to waste. The difference is this crisis is spiraling out of his control. He can't control the narrative.
And it's going to require a very different kind of playbook, and the public's right to know.

KURTZ: This really is a classic case of the press eventually, belatedly, finally forcing some of facts to light. Carol Marin thanks very much for joining us today.

MARIN: My pleasure, Howie.

KURTZ: Still to come, how Politico got cozy with one of the Clintons, and why the tale of female meteorologists and a certain dress went utterly viral.


KURTZ: Mike Allen, Politico's most influential columnist now regrets the way he tried to woo Chelsea Clinton for an interview at one of the website's events, as I noted in our after the buzz feature. Allen wrote to Chelsea's rep in an email, "No one beside me would ask her a question and you and I would agree on them precisely in advance. I would work with you on topics and there would be, no risk." The interview never happened, but now Allen writes in his column it was a clumsy email. As for questions in advance, he says I have never done that. I would never do that. Politico has a policy against it, and it would make for a boring event. But Allen did offer to provide the questions in advance, which is a major journalistic no-no, and makes it, look like Politico is cozying up to one of the Clintons.

In other Mike Allen news, he interviewed Rahm Emanuel the day after the Chicago Mayor had fired his police chief over the killing of the teenager, and spilled the beans on something they had privately discussed backstage.


MIKE ALLEN, POLITICS: You take your young people on fascinating trips around the world to Cuba, why?

EMANUEL: First of all, thanks for telling everybody what I am going to do with my family. You had a private conversation with me. Now you decide to make that public. I really don't appreciate that, number one. I really don't.

Can you give me your cell number? I'd like you to listen to Amy.

ALLEN: I apologize for that.


KURTZ: I don't blame Emanuel or his wife Amy for being ticked off. Mike Allen says the mayor didn't put the information specifically off the record, and may have been trying to distract people from the police mess.
But disclosing a family vacation?

All right, it started when Jennifer Myers, a Meteorologist at the Fox station in Dallas wore a $23 dress she bought on Amazon and began to hear from other women. Turns out lots of women who deal with overnight lows and storm fronts wear the same dress. Myers posted a collage on Reddit, it drew 2600 comments and went utterly viral. As one explains, when it comes to women, weather and wardrobe, it's complicated.


APRIL WARNECKE, KTVK: Finding the right thing to wear in our profession is sometimes hard. You're trying to please so many people. There are so many rules. You can't wear patterns. You are supposed to always wear sleeves.
Only bright colors, something fitted but don't show too much skin.


KURTZ: It helps to get the weather right, but after all, its television.


WARNECKE: Even if you mess up the forecast, the thing they're going to remember unfortunately if you're a woman sometimes is what you're wearing.


KURTZ: That's true for men on television, isn't it, maybe not. All right, that's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I am Howard Kurtz. We hope you'll like our Facebook page. Check it out. We post original content there, respond to your questions, we have a video feature called your buzz.
Also check out the Sirius XM station Fox has 24/7 headlines where you can hear my daily media minute. I have to compress my words. You can always email us at I read all the emails.

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

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