Press touting Trump triumph? Plus, Geraldo, Trump's friend and critic

Cruz calls campaign coverage unfair


This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," May 1, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On a buzz meter this Sunday, Donald Trump declares himself the nominee after sweeping five northeastern states. Ted Cruz says the media are thrilled to boost the billionaire and the pundits debate when this race is over.


ELLEN RATNER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think he is the presumptive nominee and it isn't going to be the easy path that I think the Democrats would like.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Is he the presumptive nominee in your opinion?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think -- I think, I mean, I would say yes.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, here's the Washington Post today, "the time has come to admit that republican voters want Donald Trump as their nominee." Do you see that?



KURTZ: Are the pundits who mocked and minimize Trump's chances finally coming out of denial? And is the press being dismissive of Cruz picking Carly Fiorina as his running mate?

One of Trump's fiercest campaign critic is also one of his oldest friends, a conversation with Geraldo Rivera. Hillary Clinton winning four out of five states bristles at the suggestion that she might not win the nomination.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That was June 7th, 2008, when you got out of the race and endorsed President Obama.


MADDOW: June 7th, 2016, will be the California primary.


MADDOW: That share is that when you -- if you're ahead in the vote, if you're ahead in pledge delegates...


CLINTON: I am ahead in the polls, right?

MADDOW: I know.

CLINTON: I am way ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KURTZ: And what about Bernie Sanders complaining that the press is unfairly writing him off?

Plus, a report from last night's White House correspondents' dinner and President Obama's last chance to stick it to the press and other favorite targets.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I want to thank the Washington press corps; I want to thank Carol for all that you do. You know, the free press is central to our democracy and -- no, I'm just kidding. You know I've got to talk about Trump. Come on!



KURTZ: Come on. I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Donald Trump was calling most of the media dishonest.


TRUMP: Do we like the media?


TRUMP: Do we hate the media?



KURTZ: Yes! But after he won Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island mostly by a landslide margins, he softened his view over the press, that at least for the moment.


TRUMP: I want to thank the media. The media has really covered me very fair for the last two hours.


No, they've been really very fair over the last few weeks.


KURTZ: But a very different message from Ted Cruz as he was finishing third behind John Kasich in four of those five states.


SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is likely to win some states and the media is going to have heart palpitations this evening and the media is going to say, the race is over.



KURTZ: There was a ton of media attention when the Cruz and Kasich camps announced they would split up three states to give the other a better chance of derailing Trump at least until the reporters got to ask the candidate about the deal.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you going to tell your voters in Indiana to support Ted Cruz?

GOV. JOHN KASICH, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. No. I'm not going to tell anybody how to vote. Look, I mean, this is a matter of resources.


KASICH: Is this collusion? What does that even mean?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How is it not collusion? What do you say to those people, though, who say that it's collusion, Senator? I just respectfully am going to ask that again. Donald Trump is saying that you are colluding and we expect to hear that from him again and again on the campaign trail.

CRUZ: Look, I understand that Donald is going to whine. That's what he does. Donald is a sore loser.


KURTZ: Joining us now to analyze the coverage of the race, Amy Holmes, a political commentator and former television anchor, Susan Ferrechio, chief congressional correspondent for the Washington Examiner, and Joe Trippi, a democratic strategist and Fox News contributor.

So, Amy, I have to just abide him on my set, Donald Trump is saying something nice about the media. But let me play one more sound bite for you and this Joe Scarborough and MSNBC's Morning Joe talking about the pundits sort of coming around on Trump after those -- that five-state sweep. Let's take a look.


JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: People have allowed, reporters have allowed, journalists have allowed their own biases and their own hatred against Donald Trump. I hate to sound like a broken record, but you keep doing it.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: I have to agree. All right.


KURTZ: Do you agree with that?

AMY HOLMES, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I would agree that Donald Trump and the media are "frenemies." I've used that phrase before. But look at what Kimbell Brown had to write in Politico and Kanye (ph) Kimbell lament. And if you're unhappy with Donald Trump being the front-runner, she says blame TV and points to some really startling statistics. That the New York Times is reporting that the Donald Trump has earned $2 billion in free media, that he gets...


KURTZ: Hold on.

HOLMES: ... six times the appearances.

KURTZ: He's gotten way more coverage and maybe that is something.


KURTZ: But some of that is Trump appearing on many, many television shows where of his rivals wouldn't, but it's just...

HOLMES: But it's also the media covering his...

KURTZ: Rallies.

HOLMES: ... campaign stops and rallies.

KURTZ: Yes, I agree with that point.

HOLMES: But in my point he exist that on the one hand, yes, that the media has been hostile towards Trump but they've also given him a lot of free advertising.

KURTZ: OK. I can't argue with that part. By the way, there's a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out today showing Trump with a 15-point lead in Indiana which is supposedly a make or break state for Ted Cruz. There have been a lot of polls that -- yes.


KURTZ: But when the press now says Trump is pretty close to unstoppable, do you think that's going too far?

SUSAN FERRECHIO, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: No. I think the press was really excited about the prospect of a contested convention because we've never seen it. We go to these conventions, they are pretty boring. It's just a coronation.

KURTZ: Exactly.

FERRECHIO: But that's looking less and less likely now just because the math is the math and he is much more likely to become the nominee. Ted Cruz has almost no path there. And this big win where he got 60 percent of the vote, I think that's when you really saw the shift, where the media started to say, you know what, this probably is going to happen.

And the chance of a contested convention is really shrinking down to unlikely just because Cruz has just deflated in this path by braces.

KURTZ: Well, braces, what about Scarborough's point, that perhaps the media would have come to this consensus early, except that many were invested even they don't like Trump personally or they were invested in this notion that he's a crazy outsider.

FERRECHIO: Yes. I heard him say that and, you know, when he says the media, who is he talking about? Is he talking about me, I'm just a reporter out there covering the races. Is he talking about the opinionates who are kind of woven into the media now and are part of the mix? Sure.

There has definitely been a concerted effort to just be sort of the anti- Trump in the media, if you will. So, there's some truth to what he's saying.

KURTZ: It's a -- it's a very big media base.


KURTZ: Then Joe Trippi, what do you think about Ted Cruz saying the media have heart palpitations and Trump is their chosen candidate and then let me has this sort of twist that that's because they are confident that he will lose to Hillary in the fall. Does he have a point or is this what you say when you try to define pretention from losing Secretary Clinton.

JOE TRIPPI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think that's what you say when you're losing six straight contests. I mean, you know, the fact still is that Cruz -- I mean, he picks Fiorina right now as V.P. Why? To get attention. And that's what Trump has been doing. Trump gets attention because he says things that gets attention and the press is going to cover that. We must fill the whole place where...

KURTZ: It's an art, it's a skill.

TRIPPI: Right.

KURTZ: I mean, when you ran campaigns, didn't you try to do things that get practical viewpoint?

TRIPPI: Yes. Exactly. Sometimes it's a policy speech to try to get people to cover you. But, you know, when Rubio -- Rubio tried to start saying outlandish things to get attention, it worked. He got a ton of attention. It just didn't get him any votes.

HOLMES: But I think Ted Cruz also -- there's another strategy at work. And it's not just to deflect attention from his losses but blaming the media, attacking the media is the red meat that the right loves. The media is the right favorite, you know, target.

KURTZ: Right.

FERRECHIO: It worked for Trump because Trump has been blaming the media all along till Cruz gets on that band wagon. Maybe it can work for him.

KURTZ: Yes. The covers in this always been in the strain where should being attacked by both liberal pundits and many conservative pundits. But now they have this whole other debate. Is Trump being presidential enough?

So, first he was going to be very presidential, then he start when he called John Kasich's eating habits disgusting, people said he's being less presidential.

But are they noticing that overall, has he toned it down on Twitter, he is not going after journalists by name the way he used to. I mean, he's even sitting down for primetime interview with Megyn Kelly.

HOLMES: Right.

KURTZ: So, I would say that he has toned it down but he is still likes to take his shot.

HOLMES: He is still Trump.

KURTZ: He is still Trump. He's nice and well with inner Trump.

HOLMES: Yes. And he still talked his Ted, you know, talks about 'lying Ted' and so forth. But, you know, the media is actually, once again, following sort of Donald Trump's queue when his own campaign adviser says Donald is now going to be more presidential. So, now the media is on the lookout and on the watch to find evidence of this new presidential tone.

KURTZ: There is this fascinating, Joe, there was this Politico story that said his new convention manager and senior adviser, Paul Manafort, was imposing a more disciplined campaign in which Trump would be more presidential.

And then there was a story saying that there was a tension between him and the campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski who as part of the original team, and now with Lewandowski has got more power back.

My sources say, you know, look, every campaign has tensions but this is all overblown. As somebody who has been on the inside when you've had different factions, particularly as the campaign expands, how does it feel to you?

TRIPPI: Probably that there's too factions and they are kind of trying to -- but in the end, Trump is going to be Donald Trump. I mean...

KURTZ: He has to think new strategy, right?

TRIPPI: I don't think -- yes, yes. I don't there really is a manager either one of them is in charge. I mean, I think they both have their lanes and get, you know, try to tug him in either direction.

But in the end, he's going to -- you can't jump in front of the microphone. The candidate is the one out there and Donald Trump is going to say what he wants to say.

KURTZ: Susan, there was a big story at the beginning of the week was that Ted Cruz and John Kasich and their team have reached this deal. This agreement is not aggression PAC that Cruz gets through the campaign in Indiana without Kasich and Kasich gets Oregon and what was the other state?

FERRECHIO: Washington.

KURTZ: Washington, yes. So, the media kind of laughed that out of the room as being a ridiculous idea. Do you think that was warranted or borne out by this?

FERRECHIO: I don't know why that was laughed out of the room because that is something that goes on politics, you know. It's just something that doesn't get exposed. They need buy in from the voters for this to work.

That kind of behind-the-scenes scheming to try to deceive one candidate, I mean, it were -- it certainly happened in Mitt Romney's campaign and John McCain's campaign. All of this behind-the-scenes stuff happens quite regularly.

KURTZ: But the problem is as soon as we show, the soon as reporters got to ask the candidate are about, well, what deal? Well, John Kasich, this isn't a very big deal at all. Even though it had been advertised as being some kind of breakthrough.

HOLMES: And it has fallen apart, actually.

KURTZ: It has fallen apart.

TRIPPI: But there's been a lot of own colluding going on in the past. I mean, you know.


KURTZ: They're shot by an article staff you are shy.

TRIPPI: The only difference is no one the -- none of the other campaigns that were colluding to stop the front-runners in the past have actually put out press statements and then we're appalled that the press was interested in their announcement about the colluding.

KURTZ: Amy, how would you describe, it was mentioned earlier that Cruz has says that if he gets the nomination he will have Carly Fiorina his running mate. The media's reaction to that, the New York Times in a news story not on analysis not on the op-ed page said this was a desperate move.

And maybe it was a desperate move but I'm surprised to see that news story. How would you describe the reaction to Carly?

HOLMES: It seemed to be pretty much overwhelmingly negative that it was a Hail Mary pass, "a desperate move" as the New York Times reported it. And I think disrespectful to Carly Fiorina and to the Ted Cruz campaign.

They're in it to win it, whether or not we think and can pronate that that will succeed, I think it should at least be covered fairly and neutrally.

KURTZ: Yes. It had limited success but it did, look. Cruz had to do something. He needed to change the story line from he keeps getting whipped by Donald Trump. And so, the Kasich deal, the Carly arrangement, you know, that she would be the running mate. At least it got him some attention when he gave a speech introducing her, all of the cable networks covered it live.

FERRECHIO: They covered it live right the day after he just got trounced in five primaries. So, it was stealing it back from back, which is of course, the Trump strategy that has worked in the past. When he's not done well in the primaries. You know, Cruz is running out of these Hail Mary passes because the game is about to end basically.

KURTZ: Well, when I was interviewing Carly Fiorina some months ago when she was a presidential candidate, this question there had been all of this sort of chatter about the V.P. slot. Let's take a look at what she said to me.


CARLY FIORINA, REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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. So, there's no doubt that women still are characterized differently.


KURTZ: She views that as sexist, but I think a lot of candidates who immediately decide that probably they are not going to go all the way and maybe they are trying to be the number two. Joe, what's your take?

TRIPPI: Well, a lot of people thought that about Martin O'Malley, a lot of people are asking that about Kasich as well. So, I don't think -- or Rubio early on, you know, whether he was going to end up on the ticket.

So, it -- I don't think it was sexist at all. I do think it looks kind of desperate for Cruz to do it when he did it. But the real play there was, frankly, to try to get women in the party who Trump has huge problems with, to try to get them in some way that it was a Hail Mary to try to get them to come all of this.

KURTZ: Yes. Just briefly, Susan, there's a lot of mockery of Carly Fiorina singing a made-up song, which is saying to Ted Cruz's daughters, but these are the same pundits who said she's too stern, she doesn't have sense of humor, so it seems to me in some ways she can't win.

FERRECHIO: I question that whole singing business but, you're right, there is a double standard for her. There women, I think -- if there's one woman in a big field of male candidates, they are going to get that kind of scrutiny and I think that's probably because she's the only woman in the field.

KURTZ: I was thinking of breaking into song at this point but I decided that's not the way to go. All right. You can e-mail us, Comments and questions about the media.

When we come back, GQ magazine profiles Melania Trump and she rips the piece as dishonest.

And later, more people than ever are getting their news from Facebook, but of them don't trust what they're seeing.


KURTZ: Another Trump is denouncing the press. Melania Trump talked to GQ magazine for a profile and one of them are ripping the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting.

The story which focuses on her lavish lifestyle reports that her father, before he married her mother, fathered a son with another woman, a son that Donald Trump's wife has never met.

Joining us now is Amy Argetsinger, an editor and one-time gossip reporter at The Washington Post. So, this is about Melania's father back in Slovenia, back in 1965, the guy, the son, who, by all accounts has never been part of the family and Melania has never met. Is that news?

AMY ARGETSINGER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Is it news? It is what anyone who is running for president or married to someone who is running for president is going to have to deal with.

KURTZ: Who you have ever reported it? I mean, I understand the immediate family is obviously first game. Melania could be first lady but her father who obviously non-public figure and doesn't even live in this country.

ARGETSINGER: Listen, it would be hard to argue that this is relevant but it's also hard to imagine a world in which interesting details about someone's family history do not come out.

I mean, this is so much of what we do in journalism these days when it comes to the presidents and their families, sort of getting into their origin stories, looking for some kind of meaning.

KURTZ: Revelatory, yes.


KURTZ: So, you're saying it has no connection to the presidential campaign but this is the world we live in where this kind of stuff is going to come out.

ARGETSINGER: Well, listen, if you're doing a biography of first lady Melania Trump and did all of this research, you would find this out and I don't see any reason why you would ignore it.

KURTZ: OK. The tone of the piece, not just the $100,000 Dior wedding dress, but along-legged down in a summer dress comfortable of being admired as a specimen of physical beauty, she was a model. A blind colorful princess, you know, she is not a bimbo but not particularly clever. Condescending?

ARGETSINGER: It's not kind. Is it condescending? I don't know if you'd say it's condescending. It's obviously not a story she would be hoping to see. I actually thought that...


KURTZ: How much -- how much more do you need to say something condescending?

ARGETSINGER: Well, I felt like the overall impact of the story is not so much rough on her. It's probably rough for her, though. This is really her first exposure to this kind of scrutiny that any member of a first family or major -- part of a major ticket gets. She has been a largely very private figure, has largely been in the shadow of her husband even though she has been a model.

KURTZ: And yet, by design. And here's the thing. I've had a couple of short conversations with Melania Trump.


KURTZ: She seems to be a very savvy and classy lady who has no desire to be in the spotlight at this time. I wonder if there's a little bit of the media elite snobbery portraying a woman, she is not particularly in politics or at least speaking in public about politics. She wants to be a mom, she wants to be with her family, as being too boring or pedestrian, to be anything other than a trophy wife.

ARGETSINGER: You know, here's the thing. This is an exotic and new thing for the media, for the country to have not just a world famous reality star billionaire.


ARGETSINGER: On a ticket with a very colorful past but who has, you know, a potential first lady who is a former exotic Slovenian model. This is new territory. I mean, and there is more -- you know, this is all about the human interest. This is all about the textured detail.

Honestly, there are more interesting textured details about someone whose previous job was being a lingerie model than there is about someone whose previous job was being a hospital vice president and lawyer.

KURTZ: All right. Fair enough. Amy Artgetsinger, great to see you. Thanks for stopping by.

ARGETSINGER: Great to see you.

KURTZ: I will say the author, Julia Ioffe has gotten a ton of really ugly anti-Semitic tons and threats online. And that is just despicable. The only complain Trump for that but some people who apparently like Trump or his wife have really unloaded.

All right. Ahead, we'll talk to Geraldo Rivera about beating up on Donald Trump despite their 40-year friendship.

But first, my report from last night's White House correspondents' dinner. Barack Obama's last chance to whack the press.


KURTZ: I was at the self-important and self-indulgent gathering known as the White House correspondents' dinner last night. And I tried to find whether it still had the celebrity glimmer in the final year of Barack Obama's presidency.

Of course, the dinner is supposed to be about journalists and politicians putting aside partisanship for one night. But in past years, we were overrun by the likes of Tom Cruise, Kevin Spacey, Nicole Kidman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus all on Donald Trump.

This year, when it was less of a hot ticket, not so much. So, I took my iPhone to the red carpet and looked at all the photographers there. There were a lot of people as the stars came through.

A lot of big stars like, for example, Reince Priebus, the Republican National chairman. And we also had Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul. Now this woman everybody was going crazy but I don't she was she was a Victoria's Secret model named Adriana Lima. So, I learned about that.

Bryan Cranston I recognized him from "Breaking Bad." And Emma Watson, hard to miss. Jeff Goldblum, a guest of Fox. I had a nicely chat with him. Big star in my eyes is Michael Kelly who plays this scheming devious White House aide in "The House of Cards."

But the real stars on a night like this, here we have on the right Omarosa, and then Scottie Nell-Hughes of the Tea Party Network. Big Trump supporters and the two of them and Katrina Pierson, the Trump's spokeswoman interviewed there by Jeff Zeleny of CNN. Now we know how you really shine a these things.

I look for the president, it was a final chance to take some scripted jabs at the press and contemplate what it will be like after he leaves the White House.


OBAMA: The key staffers were now starting to leave the White House. Even reporters have left me. Savannah Guthrie, she's left the White House press corps to host the "Today" show. Norah O'Donnell left the briefing room to host "CBS This Morning."


Jake Tapper left journalism to join CNN.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: He's about to go from commander-in-chief to couch commander.



KURTZ: That's a joke you make when you're not coming back. And comedian Larry Wilmore, I thought he went over the line with some of his racially charged jokes and dropping the "n" word at the end of his routine. That was really unnecessary and bothered a lot of people.

All right. At someone else's term probably a fresh problem of celebrities where journalists took cajoled to their nerd prom.

Up next, anchors have confronted Donald Trump for accusing Hillary Clinton of playing the woman's card. Are they siding with her on this one.

And later, Geraldo Rivera says you've got to be crazy to run for the republican nomination. Is that a crazy comment?


KURTZ: The media consensus of Hillary Clinton winning four out of five states this week says it's a question of how and when Bernie Sanders makes his exit.

But the democratic front-runner on the eve of those primaries getting aggravated on MSNBC when Rachel Maddow asked what would happen if she's ahead in delegates in June.


CLINTON: Look, I have great respect for Senator Sanders. But really what he and his supporters are now saying just doesn't add up. I have 2.7 million more votes than he has. I have more than 250 more pledged delegates.


KURTZ: Susan Ferrechio, why was Hillary getting so exercised? That wasn't exactly a hairball question from Rachel.

FERRECHIO: I tell you why because she went through the same process in 2008. She dropped out when she was even -- had even better prospects than Bernie Sanders has right now.


KURTZ: Well, she dropped out on the last days of the primary.

FERRECHIO: Well, but she -- that's true.

KURTZ: Right.

FERRECHIO: She stuck all the way through it but I think they had been cutting deal. Both of her current event...


KURTZ: But the media turn, was it an overreaction to what was not a hostile question?

FERRECHIO: I think she's defensive about it and she's defensive about it because the problem she has is that Bernie Sanders still has a lot of momentum. He may not be winning delegates.

KURTZ: And money.

FERRECHIO: He's getting money. His fundraising is dropping off but he just raised $20 million in April.

KURTZ: Which shows that the media focus now is what does Bernie want? Why doesn't he quite? What doesn't he tone it down? Who appointed the press to deliver this message and mention him out?

TRIPPI: Well, he can go -- and as you point out, with money can go all the way to the convention.

KURTZ: So, why, he talk about the pundits who are now saying, oh, we just think this is too much and he really needs to behave.

TRIPPI: Well, I think that's wrong. I mean, I think he's let Bernie be Bernie, let him go as long as he -- obviously Hillary Clinton did. But the plot -- the point she is making and I think it's laughable in the coverage, is she got 58 percent to his 42 in New York.

We all called it a wipeout. If you go back from Iowa through all the primaries she's beaten him 58-42. So, that frustration that's going on with her...


TRIPPI: And that with Maddow is, hey, it's not close, guys. Why do you keep on doing...


KURTZ: It was New York. New York is the center of universe. It's more important than any other primary to the media. All right. So, Donald Trump, you know, taking a lot of heat over this woman's card issue. He phoned in to The Today show and talked to Savannah Guthrie. Let's take a look at that.


SAVANNAH GUTHRIA, NBC HOST: But, Mr. Trump, I mean, for you to say that if she were not a woman she would be getting 5 percent suggesting the only thing she has going for her is that she's a woman. Not that she was a former senator, a former Secretary of State and a lawyer. Do you understand why some people find that to be kind of a demeaning comment?

TRUMP: No. I would find it that it's a true comment. I think the only thing she's got going is the fact that she's a woman.


KURTZ: Amy Holmes, other anchors challenge Trump about this comment as well. Does it seem too that the press is kind of siding with the view that it was sexist of him to say that?

HOLMES: It seems like it. I mean, there were two parts to his statement, which was that Hillary Clinton is playing the woman's card, and then there was a second part which I actually agree is a bit on the sexist side. I don't think that's the only thing she has going for her.


KURTZ: The 5 percent. Yes. That seems to go too fat.

HOLMES: That 5 percent happened. I think that that went too far.

KURTZ: What about the first part?

HOLMES: But the first part, I think that Donald Trump is being unfairly attacked because Hillary Clinton has been playing the woman's card. She's been playing it explicitly and she even embraced it just this week when she said, you know, "if I'm playing the woman's card, deal me in."

So, I think that it was a fair criticism of Donald Trump but to get back to the why won't Bernie drop story line with the media, I think it's also because the media gets bored and they want the news story and they want to move on from this because they are also smarty pants and think they know what's going to happen. So, let's start writing that new headline.

KURTZ: On this question about Hillary and the Trump reaction is the trump attack. Here's the New York Times. Again, this is a new story. "He is likely to attack her precisely because she is a woman in ways that many women find sexist." That's done as a statement of fact.

FERRECHIO: Well, he's done it so far. He's gone after women based on their appearance or based on the fact that they are women. He went after Megyn Kelly in some ways that people considered very sexist. He has a track record of doing this. And I don't doubt that he is going to keep doing it going forward.

KURTZ: But you're sympathetic to the view that it's a fact not a thing in your analysis.


FERRECHIO: He's established himself as someone willing to go after a woman based on the fact that she's a woman. And many consider that to be a sexist move. There is this thing that's beautiful.


HOLMES: But should that be in the news pages. I mean, that could be analysis of Donald Trump.

FERRECHIO: Why not? Why not?

HOLMES: Does is really...

FERRECHIO: I consider it a fact. I mean, it's true. He's done it over and over and over again. I don't think anyone in the Trump camp would deny it either. Just listen to what he says.

KURTZ: Of course they would deny it.

FERRECHIO: But the New York Times -- No, no. They wouldn't deny what he says. He has come out and said remember the attacks on Rosie O'Donnell and...


HOLMES: But hold on. The question is should The New York Times be saying this is what he's likely to be doing in the future?

FERRECHIO: Yes. Because it is light obvious.

HOLMES: As if they are predicting the events considered of what's when he is going to do.

FERRECHIO: In my opinion, I don't think it's going to...


KURTZ: Well, he's running as Hillary Clinton so it's not that a take.


TRIPPI: Let's stay out of it.

KURTZ: Yes. Let's stay -- let the woman play. All right. So, the V-stakes, the Hillary camp leaks a very specific story in The New York Times saying she's having extension discussions about 15 to 20 possible V.P. candidates and mentions some names, McCain, Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Duval Patrick.

Also we're open to a woman and the Boston Globe those crazy says how Elizabeth Warren. You've been through this kind of thing. Is the press being used here? Not that they are not considering V.P.'s but they want these stories out to show that what?

TRIPPI: Of course the press is being used here. I mean, you put this out, you float -- you float names. Some of its trial balloons. And you do point out that there's a lot of precedence for picking someone of the same gender and everybody sort of chuckles at that and it makes the case that she's...

KURTZ: Even though she had no plan to pick Elizabeth Warren, it helps with delivering of the party that she's at least considering her and makes her look like the virtual nominee.

TRIPPI: Yes. I mean, yes. It's about being the virtual nominee and it is about -- I mean, there does have to be some -- I think that we are looking at progressives and not necessarily just Elizabeth Warren but to get that out there that there's room and that we're looking for how to expand.

KURTZ: All right. These are the press is being used. Case closed. We'll talk more about it nicely. Joe Trippi, Susan Ferrechio, and Amy Holmes, thanks for stopping by this Sunday.

FERRECHIO: Thank you.

KURTZ: Ahead on "MediaBuzz", the press rips apart of proposed Will Ferrell film on Ronald Reagan Alzheimer's has an impact. But first, Geraldo on what he says about Donald Trump publicly and tell him privately.


KURTZ: Geraldo Rivera, the Fox News veteran and regular on "The Five" has been friends with Donald Trump for four decades. And that was our jumping off point when we sat down in New York.


KURTZ: Geraldo Rivera, welcome.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS: Thank you, Howard.

KURTZ: You're a long-time friend of Donald Trump and yet, you have also criticized the campaign he's running. That's got to be uncomfortable for you.

RIVERA: Well, it's uncomfortable, you know, I was very excited when he made his announcement that he was running for president because he is a friend of mine. I do love the guy. I mean, we just had the experience with "Celebrity Apprentice" where we're together every day for six weeks.

That was just in February. And then this was in June. So, when he came down the escalator it was a great anticipation, I was radio live and when he started speaking I was thrilled. I thought that it was -- you know, he showed he was a movie star and had a grasp in general terms of the issues.

KURTZ: And then he started speaking about things like immigration.

RIVERA: And then he said Mexican immigrants were dope dealers and rapists and I assume there are some good people that mixed in and gave that little bit and I was shocked. I was hurt by it. Because that's not the Donald Trump that I know.

KURTZ: And you have, I mean, you talk with him occasionally. You have expressed your views to him privately that he shouldn't be going there in terms of certain of these issues, immigration, Mexican, and so forth?

RIVERA: We were together as recently as Tuesday night in New York. We had a nice chat. I didn't bring up immigration but he knows and I have said publicly that though, I have this deep affection for him and respect for him and his family, a lovely family, I could never vote for him unless he moderates that position.

KURTZ: Doesn't it -- is it hard for you to go on the air and criticize him sometimes in very strong language when he is your friend?

RIVERA: You know, people take in this building particularly with all of the Irish Catholic colleagues that we have, abortion is an issue that really is deeply personal to many of our colleagues.

Immigration is my abortion issue, so to speak, my litmus test. It is easy for me to say -- to draw my line. I can go that far but no further. You have to be compassionate to this population. I've written two books about them. They are my constituents, in a sense.

It is impossible for me to be for someone who would deport American families that have citizen children. Donald knows that but I fully expect - - and I want to be very clear about this, Howard -- I fully expect that all of the Trump naysayers are correct, Cruz is correct, Donald doesn't really mean it. The Donald Trump I know would never break up American families to make a political point.

KURTZ: But then you're accusing him of using some pretty strong rhetoric about deportation, even though you say you believe as his pal that he doesn't really mean it?

RIVERA: I think that you have to be a crazy person to get the republican nomination these days.

KURTZ: You said that to Howard Stern on SiriusXM. I was going to ask you about that. So, Cruz, Trump, they are both crazy? Or that you're saying they have to act crazy?

RIVERA: I think they have to tow a line that is in many ways intolerable for a reasonably intelligent, compassionate person. You have to clear the Stephen King hurdle in Iowa before you get anywhere.

Stephen King is the congressman, I remind everybody, that said of Mexican immigrants that they have the calves the size of cantaloupes because they are all carrying dope across the border.

I mean, if you have to please that person to get past the nation's first primary election, then you are doomed to a radical position that will never fly with the American electorate and you can never be elected.

KURTZ: You considered running for the Senate in New Jersey as a republican.

RIVERA: I did. I am a republican.

KURTZ: Did you conclude you're not crazy enough to run as a republican candidate?

RIVERA: I concluded that once the Koch brothers got involved and promised my rival, the mayor of Bogota, New Jersey, $5 million, that the 5 million I had stashed away, my family and I to make the run, would have easily been exhausted.

KURTZ: You were going to lose against Corey Brook or anywhere?

RIVERA: You are going to lose.

KURTZ: A loser, as Trump would say. All right. You hit Ted Cruz pretty hard when he started talking about New York values in Iowa. And you said you thought this was sort of a coded an anti-Semitic message. I don't agree. I think it was a shot at loud mouth liberal New Yorkers.

RIVERA: I disagree. I've been around a long. When you think of New York you go back to Jesse Jackson, 1994, Hymie Town. The only reason Ted Cruz didn't say New York was Hymie Town was because it was already taken by Reverend Jackson.

I think that when you use New York, what is New York and then you throw in money and power and media, you are talking about Jews and I know it. I sense it. I am very defensive about my people.


KURTZ: Have you...

RIVERA: You know, my mom's people, particularly.

KURTZ: Have you talked to the senator or if he's here at Fox do you go the other direction?

RIVERA: No. I generally don't want to confront him. We have had -- I have interviewed Senator Cruz. I was at an off-the-record campaign fund-raiser that some parents at my kids' school invited me to, so I had time to listen to his pitch. And that New York values hit on the eve of Iowa was premeditated. I have no doubt but that he did that to signal that he was against those people, meaning me.

KURTZ: Finally, what compelled you to say "yes" to "dancing with the stars"?

RIVERA: You know, it's funny I've been asked several times to do it over the course of the years when I was more physically able to dance. My kids said, "daddy, don't do it. You're going to have an affair with the professional dancer. They all do." At that time they were all happy...


KURTZ: That would be so unlike you to have an affair with show woman.

RIVERA: So, I said, no, no, no. Then finally, it was on my bucket list at the age of 72 and lane I said "yes" and you can watch me in the finale on May 24th.

I give you credit for taking it on. Geraldo, thanks very much for for doing this.

RIVERA: Thank you, Howie. My pleasure.

KURTZ: After the break, 9 out of 10 people don't have much faith in the news they read on Facebook. What that means in our digital download.


KURTZ: It will come as no shock that a new survey by the media inside project finds it just 6 percent of those questions have of great deal of confidence in the media.

Just barely above Congress, but even with a slight majority of Americans now getting some of their news on social media, the verdict there isn't much better, just 12 percent of those who get their news from Facebook say they trust it a lot or a great deal. That rises to a 17 percent for Instagram, 18 percent for Twitter.

Joining us now is Shana Glinzer, technology executive and commentator here in Washington. Twelve percent trusting name on Facebook. What do you make of such an obviously low figure?

SHANA GLINZER, TECHNOLOGY ANALYST: I was shocked personally about the figure. Imagine or expected to be at least 50 percent, right, especially the survey or study showed so many people are consuming from social media, the first news source and they don't trust any of it.

KURTZ: Do you have the sense of the trust of distrust when you look at what people put up on Facebook about news?

GLINZER: I think no. I think given the survey, I'm more trusting in the news that I'm reading on social media, but I do judge the news that I'm seeing first and foremost by based on who is sharing it. So. if a friend is sharing it who I know is biased on a certain issue, then I don't trust what they are sharing as much as somebody who might have a more, you know, more moderate perspective on that issue.

One of the researchers actually talked to someone named Sonia who said about the same topic, I look at who shared it. If I have a friend that's a creep, I might not believe what they post, but if I have a friend who is in a certain field then I might believe what they post. So, it's reflected in the story as well.

KURTZ: All right. So, creeps have a credibility gap on Facebook. You know who you are. I was surprised because these are people -- news is coming from people who you accept as friends, though, a lot of people accept a lot of people they don't know.

All right. So, look, it's no secret Facebook is going a lot more polarized in this campaign, pro-Trump people, anti-Trump people, Bernie versus Hillary, sometimes it gets ugly and sometimes friendships are lost.


KURTZ: Could it be a factor in doubting the news sources?

GLINZER: I think it's a huge factor this political season and especially just how there's so much vitriol and in the commentary that there's these news with more and more outrageous headlines. I don't know if you're seeing it in your news feed.

KURTZ: Big time.

GLINZER: I'm seeing it in mine. And so, though I dismiss those outright, it also affects the credibility in which I view the other news that's being shared about, you know, specifically about politics. I also see this trust issue reflected in another way this political season.

And that is that because so few people trust the news that they are reading on Facebook and that's where they are getting their news, that real verified stories about candidates aren't having the same impact that they had where they may have been able to sway voters in the past. They are not swaying voters this season about their candidate, or at least that's what I feel the trust issue is being reflected in these candidates.

KURTZ: Right. Now, look, obviously people have doubts about the mainstream media as well, but I'm always struck by when I see a headline that seems off the wall, something you've never heard of and doesn't seem true, like a conspiracy theory, I look at the little link and sometimes it's often it's a site I've never heard of.


KURTZ: And makes me wonder about the credibility as well. Well, also talking about Twitter this, I mean, this week former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced on charges relating to this awful situation related to sexual abuse of boys that he had coached in wrestling, and major news organizations put out tweets while the judge was doing the sentencing.

BuzzFeed, CNN, Washington Examiner saying former House Speaker Denis Hastert sentenced to two years of supervised release. An hour later, the A.P. goes on Twitter and says now also getting 15 months in prison, so that would tend to undermine the view of even when Blue Chip organizations are using Twitter for news.

GLINZER: Yes. I mean, they set us up perfectly for the story, did they not? I mean, it's a sad state. But it shows this pressure to be first, especially in the age of social media and Twitter and the importance of these 140 characters that you get when you're sharing, you know. It holds a lot of weight.

KURTZ: If the judge is still speaking, why not wait 20 more minutes, 20 more seconds in some cases, to find out what the sentence actually was. Shana Glinzer, thanks so much for joining us. Good to see you.

GLINZER: Thanks so much.

KURTZ: Still to come, Will Farrell and a proposed story about Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's. Kelly Ripa speeds up her TV divorce and the media and Acela primary, how it got seriously derailed on local TV. That's next.


KURTZ: The variety headline billed as an exclusive. Will Farrell to play former President Ronald Reagan in a new movie but the story said the actor was attached to star in a film about Reagan suffering from dementia as president that the idea would be shopped to studio, that's Hollywood speak for the project had no fine or anything.

The New York Post land basing the idea with the photo shopped image of Ferrel and a headline of Gipper Flick Fury, a Hollywood comedy to mock Reagan. But after Reagan's daughter, patty Davis called the film a heartless move, Ferrell's people backtracked saying, oh, he would only consider the project and he was in fact backing out.

So, the media somewhat hyped the story but may have succeeded in killing what was a truly awful idea. Kelly Ripa returned to her morning show after her boycott this after ABC blind-sided her by telling her at the last minute that her co-host Michael Strahan was moving full time to Good Morning America. She said apologies have been made. She didn't say by whom, and that she, and the NFL star tried to make up, tried to make up on camera.


KELLY RIPA, ACTRESS: Transpired though over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly, respect in the workplace.

MICHAEL STRAHAN, NFL PLAYER: You love this show. You love the fans. You love the staff. I love you.


KURTZ: But no one was really buying that and for good reason. Strahan who had within slated to join GMA in September now will leave the show in less than two weeks despite his love for Kelly.

All right. Amtrak has a high-speed train from Washington to New York to Boston favored by the media elitist called the Acela. So, the media bestowed that name on the five-state northeastern primary this past Tuesday, but some anchors found it a tad challenging.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's billed as the Acela primary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For what's billed as Acela, is that how you say it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For what's billed as the Acela primary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Acela primaries.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The accelerated primary, is it Acela train, Melissa?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What some are calling the Acela primary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What some are calling the Acela primary. OK, Anyway.


KURTZ: What a train wreck. All right. Maybe Amtrak should have picked an easier name to pronounce, but maybe all this anchor should run the pranks and looked it up.

That's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I'm Howard Kurtz. We hope you like our Facebook page, send us questions there., at And I'll respond you on Twitter @howardkurtz. Continue the conversation that we have here every Sunday. We're back next Sunday. Hope you'll join us then for the latest buzz.

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