This is a rush transcript from "Media Buzz," September 18, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: This is the Fox News Alert. I'm Howard Kurtz in Washington. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, says an explosion in New York City is an act of terrorism but that there's no evidence tying the attack to an international terror group.
The homemade bomb detonated at about 8:30 last night in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. A second suspicious device was found and removed about four blocks away. Surveillance video from a local gym shows the moment of the explosion and people running away just seconds later.
Twenty nine people were injured in the attack, no suspects at the moment, but local officials plan to hold a news conference at noon eastern. Fox News Channel will bring that to you and we'll stay with the story throughout the day.
Time now for "MediaBuzz," Donald Trump was all but written off by the pundits about a month ago, but the coverage is changing as he is now slightly ahead, tie or slightly behind in the latest presidential polls. I spoke to him earlier by phone from New York.
KURTZ: Donald Trump, welcome.
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMNINEE: Thank you, Howie.
KURTZ: Hillary Clinton called half of your supporters a "basket of deplorables," racist, sexist, xenophobic. When Mike Pence was making the rounds of the media with Wolf Blitzer and others, he was asked to call David Duke who is supporting you a deplorable and when Pence criticized Duke but didn't use the word deplorable, he got a bunch of negative headlines. What do you make of that?
TRUMP: Well, it's just the media. The media is trying to do whatever they can to stop what's happening. And, you know, either way Mike could have won -- he was very rough on David Duke, but he didn't want to fall into her word. I mean he didn't want to use her word and you understood that, because no matter what he said, he would have been criticized.
TRUMP: And I was impressed with Mike and I have been very, very impressed with Mike. He was very, very tough on David Duke, I can tell you that.
KURTZ: Colin Powell in those hacked emails was very critical of you and Hillary Clinton calling you a national disgrace among other things, your response to the former secretary of state?
TRUMP: Well, I've not been a fan of his. I thought when he was talking about weapons of mass destruction, he really lead us down a very horrible path that, obviously, the administration picked up and they went into a war that they shouldn't have gone into, but I was never a fan of his, and we can do a lot better. So, you know, I guess he knows my feelings about him, and...
TRUMP: ...you know, might as well say whatever he wants to say, but he's known my feelings about him.
KURTZ: Right. Now, you've been ripping certain news organizations on Twitter calling CNN a disgrace and an arm of the Clinton Campaign, accusing The New York Times of dishonest hits and calling MSNBCs Morning Team, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski two clowns. How do you benefit from that?
TRUMP: What I want to say to the public, I want to say it straight, because I'm being hit. The New York Times did a story on women and Donald Trump and past relationships and all the women came out and said they think Donald Trump is terrific.
It was a totally phoney story and The New York Times fully understands that and they made it a front-page story. And then, you know, that was one thing out of many. It's just hit after hit after hit. No matter what you do -- no matter how well you do they refuse to properly write.
And then you see their reporters -- some of their reporters, Martin and some of the others, they have Twitters that are just horrible what they say on Twitter and they are supposed to be objective reporters. So, I just like to set the record straight and whatever it is, it is. That's the way it goes.
KURTZ: And at the same time, you've now lifted the restrictions, you'd yanked the credentials of a bunch of news organizations Washington Post, Politico, Huffington Post, The Des Moines Register, BuzzFeed and others why did you change your mind on that?
TRUMP: Just because they can't treat me anywhere so I might as well let them be there.
KURTZ: OK. Now, on the -- let's turn to the debates. You said you would prefer no moderators, "the system is being rigged, so it will be a very unfair debate." How is the debate system rigged?
TRUMP: Well, it is a rigged system. The whole thing is, if you look at what's going on. Look, Matt Lauer did a fine job. Matt Lauer was very tough on me and, I guess, he was tough on her. I thought frankly he was tougher on me. I won that evening, the forum, the NBC forum and according to every poll and everybody just about, I won that evening with Hillary and declare that...
KURTZ: But Lauer got -- Lauer got hammered by the press.
TRUMP: ...and they hammered Lauer, but Matt did a fine job. Matt was very tough on me. So what happens, is by -- it's called gaming the system, like a great basketball coach, like Bobby Knight, who was one of the greats, he would hit the referee and keep hitting him and in the end was hoping for the favorable goal.
Well, they are hitting Matt Lauer and that sort of indicative of what -- they are trying to game the system. They want, and this -- I think it's terrible, but they want the host to go after Trump, and that's what they are doing by gaming the system. And you understand it as well as anybody. So, I said...
KURTZ: Right, but...
TRUMP: ...let's not even have a host. Let's -- let Hillary hit all the linking Donald's (ph) debates that didn't have -- that didn't have the host so let's see with the moderator...
TRUMP: ...but I would -- I would say that would be great. I think that it's going to be very unfair...
KURTZ: But do you think -- well, Donald do you -- do you think that Lester Holt or Martha Raddatz or Anderson Cooper or Chris Wallace is going to be pressured into not being fair to you?
TRUMP: Sure, I think. I think that's what's happening right now. By the way, they are hitting Matt Lauer because Matt Lauer they felt wasn't as tough on me, and he was actually just as tough, if not tougher. But by doing that, they are gaming the system, that's what they are doing and why that's they are doing it and they are doing it for the debates. So, no I think that and I think you think that too, Howie. I think, you know, you've made yourself clear.
KURTZ: Well, I think Lauer did a -- basically a good job and he has been on fairly...
TRUMP: I think he did a very good job...
KURTZ: Yes, well...
TRUMP: ...but he was tough on me, but I thought he did a very professional job.
KURTZ: Let me move on. You said in many interviews, including with me, that you opposed the Iraq war before it began. Now, I've looked at the forums that you've cited Esquire Magazine, Neil Cavuto's show and don't see any clear evidence of that. And of course, you had the sort of a lukewarm comment to Howard Stern and I guess so to be...
TRUMP: Well, that was long before the war started and I can tell you that was long before the war started with Howard that's the first time the word Iraq was ever mentioned to me...
KURTZ: But why not say...
TRUMP: ...and that was a long time ago and...
KURTZ: Why not say you're a private business...
TRUMP: ...it was very lukewarm -- wait a minute, it was very lukewarm...
KURTZ: OK, go ahead.
TRUMP: ...and then I spoke to Neil Cavuto and that was very much on the other side, but I spoke to other people and if you look also, I speak to Sean Hannity, who's a terrific guy by the way, speak to him and he and I used to have arguments about the Iraq war.
As, you know, Sean wanted -- he believed in the Iraq war and, you know, that's -- that's what his belief was. We used to have arguments about it, big arguments, and you could speak to Sean and that was before the war started. Now...
KURTZ: Right, but why not say I was a private -- I was a private businessman. I had no responsibility to take a public position before the war and I criticized the invasion after it began?
TRUMP: Well, I fought with Sean Hannity over it and the Neil Cavuto statement is pretty close to being like don't go in and don't make the mistake of going in. I said, I think, the economy is, you know, has to come first. And also if you look shortly thereafter, one of the major people on television actually say, you know, whether Trump was for it or not before before the war, the fact is he was totally against it in the Esquire interview which took place pretty quickly after the war started and that's the same thing. But to me it's not even the same thing. I was against it before the war started...
KURTZ: All right.
TRUMP: ...and I hear more about this. But Sean Hannity will tell you...
KURTZ: Why do you keep on looking into it?
TRUMP: ...because I used to argue with him all the time.
KURTZ: All right. Now, the media's credibility is now at an all-time low according to a new Gallup poll, 32% having confidence in the press, and you said the other day on a radio show that you take some of the credit for that. So, when you look at it, do you feel like when it comes to credibility it's you versus them?
TRUMP: I think the media is disgraceful. I think they are unbelievably dishonest. And I'm not talking about you and I'm not talking about certain people, because I've got tremendous confidence and tremendous respect for certain reporters, et cetera.
But a large portion of the media is disgustingly dishonest and I could name everyone of them that are that way and I would -- and probably some day I will, but they are -- they should be ashamed of themselves. And I'm very proud of the fact that at rallies, well I have 10,000 and 15,000 and 20,000 and more. I will call the media out.
And I think the word has gotten through, and I think the people -- otherwise, look, I'm leading in so many polls. I'm leading in a lot of people that are starting to think I'm leading in almost all of the polls if you take a look at what's happened. How could that happen if people really believed the media, because all they want to do is write negatively about me. It is so biased.
You talk about CNN -- it's called the Clinton News Network. CNN -- it is so biased, it's ridiculous. And they are very dishonest and very dishonest people. So, I call them out and I'm very proud of it and now I see their poll numbers are at an all time low and frankly I think I have something to do with that, but I'm very proud of it.
KURTZ: But let me finish on this question of the polls because by every -- by most accounts you are running a more disciplined campaign, you are giving scripted speeches, and that's a contrast to August when you were creating a lot of controversies. I know you say the press were making too much of those controversies, but sometimes you'd make off the cuff remarks that would resonate around the media anchor chamber for days. So, do you think that you've adjusted and that you think that the previous style was a mistake when you were down in the polls now that you're coming back to just about even?
TRUMP: Well, I think I have somewhat adjusted. I think that that honestly what I said I mean thought I did very well before. You know, like when they said he did a bad three weeks, I'd say, you know, tell me what I did wrong and people couldn't even say. But they take something that I said and they take it out of context, and then shorten the sentence or they'll do something else to chop it up into pieces and it wouldn't sound like what I said. So...
KURTZ: Do you express some regret...
KURTZ: ...do you express some regret -- do you express some regret for some of your personal attacks so that perhaps led you to change your style or not?
TRUMP: Well, I think maybe so, because the media was not treating statements fairly. I mean they would chop them up and then shorten the statement, and it didn't sound proper or didn't sound as good when they did that. It was very unfair.
Now, I'm doing it a little bit differently and I'm, you know, we've had a great month. I see we're up in Florida, we're up in Ohio, we're up in Iowa, we're up -- we're up all over the place. And we're up in the national polls, too.
The Los Angeles Times just came out, we're five or six up in the Los Angeles Times on -- and that's a national poll, and...
KURTZ: And it's a one-point race according to a Fox News Poll, right.
KURTZ: All right, what I want to get is -- I just say it's a one-point race according to the latest Fox News Poll...
KURTZ: ...so clearly the race is tightening. I wanted to get a sense of how you have adjusted. And Donald Trump thanks very much for calling into the show.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.
KURTZ: Interview took place before the press conference about birtherism. So, we'll talk about the next plot. Let us know what you think firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we come back, did Trump manipulate the media by staging that big event in his Washington Hotel supposedly to talk about birtherism?
And later, why CBS went way over the line in editing Bill Clinton?
KURTZ: This is the Fox News Alert: ISIS is now claiming responsibility for the attack last night at a Minnesota shopping mall. Eight people were injured after a man in a security uniform wielded a knife at the crossroad center in St. Cloud. An off-duty police officer killed the suspect.
Right now, we have no evidence that the suspect was in contact with ISIS before the attack. Officials are expected to hold a news conference in Minnesota in the next hour. We'll bring that to you right here on Fox News.
I was at Donald Trump's hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue on Friday along with the rest of the press pack. After he had signalled he would finally talk about his stance on birtherism. The cable news network took most of the event live as Trump touted the hotel and decorated veterans' touted Trump before he got to the main event.
TRUMP: And I think it may be one of the great hotels anywhere in the world. That's the way it turned out. Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know, what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.
KURTZ: And he walked off without taking questions? Joining us now, Kelly Riddell, Deputy Opinion Editor of the Washington Times; Erin McPike, a Political Analyst and Television Commentator; and Joe Trippi, the Democratic Strategist and Fox News Contributor.
Erin, the journalists, they were really angry; some of them were standing on chairs and shouting questions at Trump as he walked away. Did Donald Trump do a little bit of a bait and switch in order to draw or hold that almost nonstop cable coverage for what we thought were major remarks on the birther issue?
ERIN MCPIKE, FORMER CNN REPORTER: Well, he shouldn't have said he was going to take questions and then not take questions.
KURTZ: I'm not sure he explicitly said that.
MCPIKE: Then, he was just fine. It was CNN that looked especially whiney because all of their anchors were saying we were duped. Well, for at least a year, the networks have been taking Donald Trump's events live. They could have decided to go into that event when Donald Trump started speaking about the birther comments.
They didn't have to take the whole event live. The other thing I would point out is Donald Trump has been smeared through the press for being the king of tax breaks for all kinds of other problems he's had with his hotel chains.
Here he had an opportunity with two months left to go before Election Day to remind everyone of the success that he's had and why people like him in the first place. So, I thought it was a smart public relations move on this point.
KURTZ: Nobody forced the cable networks to stay with that event...
KURTZ: ...until he got to the main topic...
KURTZ: ...but was -- Kelly, was Donald Trump, in effect forced, pressured to do this by the media because his top surrogates, Rudy Giuliani -- Rudy Giuliani and Kellyanne Conway went on television said Donald Trump believes Obama was born in the United States and in an interview after interview the campaign people were asked why doesn't he come out and say it?
KELLY RIDDELL, WASHINGTON TIMES: Yes. And then he tweeted earlier in the campaign season that don't believe anyone you hear other than me. I'm the official word on everything.
So, yes, I think he had to come out and definitively put this to bed -- put this issue to rest, because it was percolating in the press and now he can say, you know, I believe that Obama is a United States Citizen and that's important in his like rehabilitation effort.
I would say what I found very appalling about the media coverage at this was the debate of Donald Trump is he corrected one falsehood, but then gave two others. Now, there is indisputable, I mean the fact checkers (ph) have said that Hillary Clinton didn't start the 2007 birther rumor but she, in fact, did started with a Mark Penn rumor -- memo in 2007...
KURTZ: But she didn't personally do this.
RIDDELL: She personally didn't but her campaign did and he said she and her campaign. And then her campaign manager went on CNN on Friday, and said that, "Yeah, we had a staffer who sent a birther email out and we fired them."
KURTZ: Let me -- let me get...
RIDDELL: ...well, that came from the campaign.
KURTZ: Let me get you in on this because the staffer was a volunteer who was fired...
JOE TRIPPI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
KURTZ: ...it was an internal memo that didn't talk about Obama's citizenship, but talked about painting (ph) him as a sort of other and a McClatchy reporter now says that Hillary confided (ph) Sid Blumenthal actually told this reporter that Obama might have been born elsewhere.
Sid Blumenthal denies that. So, is the press trying to hold Donald Trump accountable for making this charge against Hillary Clinton herself in the same two sentences that he is saying I now accept that there are -- that Obama is American?
TRIPPI: Yes, they are. I mean first of all, let's go back to the original thing, a presidential candidate manipulating the media to get coverage...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
KURTZ: You're shocked?
TRIPPI: Yes, I'm shocked about that. So I agree about, you know, that they've got duped into it, but then they went with it and stayed with it. On this issue, though, look, there were volunteer, you know, volunteer in the Clinton campaign spread something or somebody who is not running for president, this is a guy who ran for president -- is running for president, and the reason he got the nomination, big piece of it, was him playing to the birther movement and the coverage he got about that. So to show up five years later...
TRIPPI: ...and just sort of, like...
KURTZ: Well, at least, he did it.
TRIPPI: ...hey, I finished it, it's over.
KURTZ: We'll get into this more later in the program, but there are also seems to be a theme in the media that he didn't apologize. He needed to apologize because he did push this beginning five years ago, fair or unfair?
MCPIKE: Has he ever apologized for anything? I mean, no of course he wasn't going to apologize.
KURTZ: That's not his style.
MCPIKE: No, so stop complaining about it.
KURTZ: What did you think in my interview with him as he talked about the disgustingly dishonest media...
KURTZ: ...that he is saying, in advance, that the debate moderators will all be unfair, is that a little pre-emptive strike on refs?
RIDDELL: Well, I think that that was started earlier with the Matt Lauer interview when Hillary Clinton started fundraising off of the fact that Matt Lauer was so unfair to her in that and then all of her surrogates went on TV and said Matt Lauer should have -- he did not hit Donald Trump like he needed to, he didn't in fact check on the spot...
RIDDELL: ...and that was signalling to Lester Holt, to Chris Wallace, to the moderators that you better, you better go after Donald Trump and you better, perhaps lay off to Hillary Clinton...
RIDDELL: ...or we're going to question your credibility.
KURTZ: But that assumes that these are not journalists who can withstand any kind pressure and they're not going to do the job, I will withhold judgment until we actually see these debates. Let me know what you think on Twitter @howiekurtz.
Ahead from Hillary Clinton's bout with pneumonia to Donald Trump's visit to "Dr. Oz," is the press covering the health issue fairly?
But up next, CBS delete some words with the Bill Clinton interview about his wife, did the network change his meaning?
KURTZ: In the fallout over Hillary Clinton's health, CBSs Charlie Rose was interviewing Bill Clinton about the video taken when his wife left that 9/11 ceremony last Sunday. This is how the interview looked on the CBS Evening News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE, CBS NEWS: Because when you look at that collapse, that video that was taken, you wonder if it's not necessary.
CLINTON: No, no she...
ROSE: ...than dehydration.
CLINTON: ...she's been -- well, if it is, it's a mystery to me and all of her doctors. Rarely, but on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of things happened to her when she's just got severely dehydrated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: But as a Daily Caller pointed out that involved some stealth- editing and when the interview aired on "CBS This Morning," we heard what the former president actually said.
CLINTON: Because frequently, not frequently I think, rarely but on more than one occasion over the last many, many years the same sort of things happened to her where she just got severely dehydrated.
KURTZ: So, CBS's nightly newscast deleted the part where the former president began to say this happened to his wife frequently and changed that to rarely. The CBS says the edit was made to save time, but come on it save a grand total of two seconds and it actually changed the meaning of Bill Clinton's comment in a way more favorable to Hillary Clinton.
Steve Scully, the veteran C-SPAN anchor, has always been highly dependable.
STEVE SCULLY, C-SPAN: Oh, yes, from Chicago, independent line, good morning.
KURTZ: Now, Scully is taking on a new role that's never existed before, he'll be the back-up presidential moderator in case Lester Holt, Martha Raddatz, Anderson Cooper or Chris Wallace can't make it on to the stage at the last minute.
Scully is doing all the preparation, writing questions, and he'll be at Long Island, St. Louise, Las Vegas though he knows the odds are overwhelming that he won't be called off the bench.
Ahead, the hacking of Colin Powell's emails have most media folks forgotten this is illegal. James Rosen is on deck.
And later, that New York post story about Melania Trump nude photos and gaming the immigration system turns out to be wrong. Heard anything about it?
KURTZ: The Fox News Alert, no suspects have been identified in that bombing in Lower Manhattan last night and injured 29 people but fortunately no one was killed. Investigators are looking into who might have left the bomb and a second device that was found and removed four blocks away.
More questions than answers at the moment about what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has described as an act of terrorism, but saying no evidence necessarily of international terrorism. Mayor Bill de Blasio is holding a news conference at the top of the hour and Fox News will bring it to you live.
We were on the air last Sunday afternoon after hours of speculation about why Hillary Clinton had left the 9/11 ceremony earlier, when the news broke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: This is the Fox News Alert. Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with pneumonia, that according to a statement from her long-time physician.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: That statement from the Clinton camp came only after the release of a bystander's video, you've all seen it a hundred times now, showing how the Democratic nominee almost collapsed as she was being helped into a waiting car. A reporter asked Clinton the other day about how that was mishandled and about her defensiveness with the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you be a little bit more specific about what those defenses are that you are referring to and did voters get a glimpse of some of that in the way that your campaign handled the events surrounding your illness over the weekend?
HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You know, my campaign had said that they could have been faster and I agree with that, but I have to say, from my perspective, I thought I was going to be fine, and I thought that there wasn't really any reason to make a big fuss about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Both candidates putting out brief letters from their physicians, Trump released his with Dr. Oz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MEHMET OZ, TV HOST: How do you stay healthy on a campaign trail?
TRUMP: Well, it's a lot of work, you know, when I'm speaking in front of 15,000 and 20,000 people and I'm up there using a lot of motion, I guess in its own way it's a -- it's pretty healthy act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: It's true if you're an anchor too, you use your hands a lot. All right, Kelly Riddell are the media overplaying the Hillary Clinton pneumonia story, or did Clinton's campaign kind of turn this into a crisis through how they dealt with the media?
RIDDELL: They turned it into a crisis through how they dealt with the media, this is for sure. If she had pneumonia that was diagnosed on Friday, as soon as, she had to leave that ceremony early and dodge her press pool, they should have been notified that hey, Hillary Clinton has pneumonia and she's not feeling well. She's got to -- she's got to step out. Everyone would have understood. The story would have been over, but no, she had to wait eight hours later in order to make that announcement and that just raised the suspicions.
KURTZ: Now, Joe Trippi, some Clinton defenders are saying this is sexist...
KURTZ: ...this is a woman being portrayed as frail. CNNs, Christiane Amanpour can't a girl have a sick day, she asks. But is this the only question was about her getting sick as opposed to not releasing the information about the earlier diagnosis of pneumonia.
TRIPPI: No, that's all true...
TRIPPI: ...all of it. I mean and I agree with Kelly. The thing here is, look, from being in a presidential campaign, I've never been in one where pneumonia or something like it didn't sweep through the plane.
TRIPPI: And you get the candidates...
KURTZ: Candidates get sick...
KURTZ: ...staffers get sick.
TRIPPI: No one and not one of them would have announced it before the candidate went down. I mean, that would not have happened because the whole thing within the campaign is just keep pushing forward...
TRIPPI: ...but once she had to leave that event early, that campaign, if it wanted to avoid any of this, had to immediately go out and say she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. I agree with everything...
KURTZ: Rare moment of convergence, agreement here between these two. Erin McPike, what about the contrast with Donald Trump who did his thing with the rather friendly Dr. Oz, do you think that generated more positive or negative coverage for him doing it in that forum?
MCPIKE: Although, the press ridiculed it...
MCPIKE: ...consider the alternative, in May of 2008 when John McCain was 71 years old, he allowed a select small group of reporters into a cold darkroom for three hours to view thousands of pages of medical records and what he got was a couple of stories, lengthy stories, about some of the health issues that he had, but that he was healthy, boring.
Donald Trump taking a page from Barack Obama, who's gone on late night television to slow jam the news on policy, realized that he could get positive press with supporters for this. So, you know, I think for him it was a good move.
KURTZ: You know, interestingly, Kelly, I think the press corps was pretty tough on Hillary Clinton over this whole pneumonia incident in part because I think the press felt misled and as you said, the press pool was did.
So, New York Times, says in a new story not attributed to anybody, Mrs. Clinton's pension for privacy backfired. Her seemingly reflects tendency to hunk her down, threatens to make her look again as though she had something to hide.
When it came to Hillary Clinton's comment which she later regretted saying half of Trump's supporters are a "basket of deplorables," racist, sexist and so on and The Times put that on the first day two paragraphs at the end of the Trump story. So, what about that contrast?
RIDDELL: Well, I mean, it's just bias. I mean Donald Trump is right when he says that there's a certain level of bias. She -- and when her deplorable statement didn't get nearly as much coverage as Romney's 47% coverage did. I meant that lasted for weeks and then we've all heard the end of the deplorable comment. Now, you've said in an interview with Mike Pence when you were talking to Donald Trump earlier today, he was criticized for not using the word deplorable against...
RIDDELL: ...David Duke.
KURTZ: He says he was a bad man.
KURTZ: But he didn't use it...
RIDDELL: And the campaign has repeatedly denounced David Duke and David Duke is a racist. He is not deplorable. He is a racist. So, I think...
KURTZ: Well, could be both.
RIDDELL: Yes, he could be both.
KURTZ: Let me get -- let me get...
RIDDELL: ...but that word matters.
KURTZ: Let me get -- let me get Joe in because some in the media reacted, I want to play a little sound here, by kind of defending the point that Hillary Clinton was making about Trump's supporters. Let's roll that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC: But did she actually need to apologize for that, when you think about many of the architects behind the Trump campaign who come from the alt-right universe, one could say they are deplorable?
DANA MILBANK, WASHINTON POST: So, it was a matter of statistics. It is probably true that people expressing racist sentiment constitute more than half of Trump's supporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: So, we're hearing a lot of, well yes, Hillary Clinton was right, but people in the press who don't -- who think half or more of Donald Trump's supporters are terrible people.
TRIPPI: Well, I don't think -- I don't -- who knows how many are -- or, what I think it's -- that's got her in the whole trouble in the first place by trying to put some number on the...
KURTZ: Hey, you've been in campaigns. Is it smart to attack the opponent's voters...
KURTZ: ...when those voters may be tens of millions of Americans?
TRIPPI: No, it's not, but one of the things that slammed the door on that was Trump's birther comments. In other words, he had her sort of explaining a way -- trying to explaining the way the deplorable thing, which put the question of race and bigotry and stuff out there, and then he comes in and by trying to slam the door on birthers sort of reignited a little bit...
KURTZ: But that was interesting, hold on for one second there. In the coverage, I think -- and so he turned the coverage...
KURTZ: ...I mean the coverage was going against her and he...
TRIPPI: Right, he turned it on himself.
KURTZ: Because, here's what he's expressing, when I interviewed Donald Trump, he had -- he is on this sort of three-week stretch of being more scripted and more restrained, sometimes on Twitter, and then we had the birther event and also we had Donald Trump saying this about Hillary Clinton and her body guards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think that her body guards should drop all weapons. They should disarm.
TRUMP: I think they should disarm, immediately. What do you think, yes? Yes. Yes.
TRUMP: Take their guns away. She doesn't want guns. Takes their -- let's see what happens to her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: So, gun rights activists also make the point that people who are opposed to gun rights, they have security, and there is this just kind of a comment talking about but the press is playing this as an outrageous statement. Is it fair for the press to do that, certainly, unusual for a presidential candidate to say about his opponent?
MCPIKE: It's important for the press to cover it because everything a presidential candidate says is important and speaks to their temperament. The Washington Post, Erin Blake, the reporter, actually unpacked the comments that he had made and said he's made this comment many times before and he was just giving his sentiment on the Second Amendment.
KURTZ: New York Times, Joe says Trump raised the specter of violence against Hillary Clinton.
TRIPPI: Look, I think this one is really dangerous territory for him and the press to go down, not because of what he said, but because of somebody out there who might hear it and might act on it and presidential candidates and the press, I think, have -- having been in all these campaigns where these threats are real, you have to be careful about it.
KURTZ: Kelly, what do you think...
RIDDELL: I think -- I just think that we should be debating the gun policy, the Second Amendment policy between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There's a distinct difference. Other than focusing on Donald Trump's rhetoric, let's focus on the policy. This is a good way to bring that issue forward and we're not talking about it.
KURTZ: Focus on the gun policy...
MCPIKE: Can I say one thing about the deplorable comment? The difference with Mitt Romney is that Mitt Romney tried to explain his comment on 47% away for weeks and didn't apologize right away, whereas Hillary Clinton, the reason I think some of the coverage went away is because she...
RIDDELL: She didn't apologize...
KURTZ: All right, I've got...
MCPIKE: She apologized for saying that.
KURTZ: I've got to move on. Interestingly, Trump is always New York Times comments more endowed, now he is taking an issue with something she attribute to him. He is calling her crazy, whacky, and a neurotic dope. So, she's -- I think, off the Christmas card list.
Coming up, some really juicy stuff about Trump and Clinton in Colin Powell's emails, but are foreign hackers now driving our election.
And later, major new outlet savaged Donald Trump for his dropping of the birther issue. We'll name some names.
KURTZ: Presidential campaign has a new hacking victim, Colin Powell, the latest person to have his emails illegal obtained, most likely by foreign hackers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: A website with suspected ties to Russia has released private emails from Colin Powell that strongly criticized both candidates for president.
SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell took a healthy swing at both candidates in emails that were stolen and posted by a website called D.C. Leaks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Joining us now is James Rosen, Fox News chief Washington correspondent and editor of the forthcoming book "A Torch Kept Lit," the selected writings of William F. Buckley.
James, when the media used to engage in a bit handwringing about these illegal hackings and the awful invasion of privacy and now it's sort of, well, Colin Powell got hacked, that's too bad, hey let's move on to the juicy stuff.
JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS: True, and part of that is because the tempo at which these kinds of large scale or prominent hackings are occurring is itself accelerating and we're taking it for granted, it's becoming a norm, really.
KURTZ: It's becoming commonplace and therefore, we kind of skip over the ethical concerns?
ROSEN: Well, there's one ethical concern at the very beginning which I do think all media have endeavored to uphold and that is verification of the authenticity. There's a difference between publishing readily publishing a false and hacked or, you know...
ROSEN: ...false one versus a real one.
KURTZ: In this case, Powell kind of short circuited that by confirming these were his emails. Now, for anyone who has been vacation, in these hacked emails Powell called Donald Trump a national disgrace, among other things. He said everything Hillary Clinton touches, she kinds of screws up with hubris and then he said that Bill Clinton was still cleaning this up, blanking the bimbos at home. According to the "New York Post," I love that he has...
ROSEN: His source.
KURTZ: Yes. How did -- for any news organization, how do you not report that when everybody else is, does that become impossible?
ROSEN: Virtually, yes. When -- even the most prestigious outlets are struggling to lure clicks away from cat videos. You're not going to make a point of avoiding something salacious and interesting like Colin Powell's private emails.
KURTZ: Well, let me put up on the screen, interesting apology from Dan Abrams, the founder of Mediaite, he called it a hollow apology to Colin Powell rather than focusing on the fact that Powell is the victim of a crime potentially to answer the Russia Government that his privacy has been shamefully compromised, we in the media have generally just exacerbated the violation by amplifying and spreading the news with little to no guilt. Do we feel a little guilt?
ROSEN: It's always healthy to feel a little guilt I've known that since I'm a child.
ROSEN: I would say that Colin Powell is in public service that doesn't mean that he should have considered himself a likely target of hacking or that he is not a victim here, but the injunction upon all of us to watch what we say in emails has been upon us for about 15 years or 20 years now.
They say you make love by email and make war by phone, but look, we're all just a hack away from ruin now and I think that's -- since the Colin Powell hacking, there's been a more widespread sense of that in the stem.
KURTZ: Yes. I think that's a really good point, the fact that there have been so many hackings and credit card information hack like we all have now to think twice about things that we used to think were private correspondence. But just going to Powell, you've covered the state department over the years.
I've always looked journalists basically like Colin Powell, for he was a good guy. He's got good relationship with the press. And he has generally gotten good coverage except that time during the Iraq war when he was trying to sell the weapons of mass destruction.
Do you think reporters kind of relishing this story, taking Colin Powell down a peg or two?
ROSEN: I think where Colin Powell enjoys a large reservoir of support probably is within the Washington Press Corps, which he did assiduously cultivate when he was a public servant. I think Colin Powell has labored for sometime under the recognition in his own mind, that his stellar career was somehow tarnished or undermined by his service in the Bush-Cheney Administration when he really had a very unhappy experience.
Whether that was Colin Powell's fault or anyone else's, it's still up to scholarly debate, I think. But I do think that there's a bit of schadenfreude, for this which is a fancy German word that means joy taken at the misery of others, and it was the same for the Sony executives and for everyone else until it happens to you, and then it's not so funny.
KURTZ: Right, right. It's very funny and especially the gossipy part until it happens to you, someone you know, someone who is not expecting they are targeted. So, I think that's the takeaway here is that this is the new normal, the new reality. James Rosen thanks very much.
ROSEN: Thank you, Howie.
KURTZ: Great to see you.
After the break, a "New York Times" news story hammers Donald Trump for refusing to apologize for pushing the birther conspiracy. We'll look at the media's outrage in just a moment.
KURTZ: The major newspapers are skewering Donald Trump over his brief remarks at his Washington on birtherism not just in editorials but in news stories. We're back with the panel. Erin McPike, this is a New York Times news analysis. It's called a news story written by a beat reporter.
Headline, Trump gives up a lie but refuses to repent. And the story says that Trump surrendered to reality after a remarkable campaign of relentless deception that tried to undermine the legitimacy of the nation's first black president. Why does that sound like an editorial to me?
MCPIKE: Well, throughout that entire story, Michael Barbaro, the reporter on that story said this is not true. This is not true. And I was struck when I was watching MSNBC that day, Katy Tur who has been covering Donald Trump for months too said after every sentence she said this is not true, this is not true, this is not true.
And what I've noticed is that the press has gone from bemusement and bewilderment and disbelief in covering Donald Trump to finally deciding it's time to do hand-to-hand combat with him with two months to go before election day.
KURTZ: Do you see this especially in the New York Times?
MCPIKE: Oh, absolutely you see it in the New York Times. The New York Times" has focused a lot on palace intrigue and a lot on very flowery language and trying to describe Donald Trump being overly descriptive.
Where they think, we -- you are seeing from The Washington Post, is a lot more in-depth coverage of Donald Trump. I don't think really any news organization has really covered either of what the presidential candidates would do as president.
KURTZ: Well, Kelly, The Washington Post let's pick the other major paper that day, a headline on sort of not the lead story, but a side bar story. Never sorry, never responsible, and never more loved by supporters. And that piece went up to say that his refusal -- he talked about Trump's refusal to take ownership of the outrageous things he has said and done.
RIDDELL: Yes, the press wants to drive this issue home because they think it's a winner for Hillary Clinton. They think that, you know, Donald Trump with this brother issue -- the African-American Community is very unhappy with him. It's very disrespectful for the first, you know, President Obama -- president, you know, you had Michelle Obama on the circuit...
KURTZ: But isn't it a little more balanced to also say in the headline never more loved by his supporters because it is true that even when Trump backtracks or moves on from statements that, let's just say, have not been verified or that others say are untrue, it doesn't seem to move the needle. And his supporters like him for his unconventional style...
KURTZ: ...or he has call it like it is...
RIDDELL: Yes, you know, and you saw -- you saw Romney, McCain both try to make nice with the press, right. They all thought that the press might come around to them some day.
KURTZ: McCain joked that the press was his base.
RIDDELL: Yes, exactly. So, you know, Donald Trump is going hand-to-hand combat right back with them and he's a Republican, welcome to it.
TRIPPI: The post that was pretty balanced. I mean it got tall -- all that was true.
RIDDELL: I disagree. I disagree. Hillary Clinton started this...
TRIPPI: His supporters...
RIDDELL: ...her campaign started this birther rumor...
TRIPPI: No, this is like such...
RIDDELL: ...and the press just wants to ignore that.
TRIPPI: This is -- this is like that...
RIDDELL: She had dirty hands in this as well.
TRIPPI: She doesn't have dirty hands.
TRIPPI: They fired the volunteer that did this.
KURTZ: Let me -- let me give Joe the chance to respond.
KURTZ: You know, but whatever Hillary Clinton's volunteers or aides stretch may have done, I mean Donald Trump campaigned on birtherism...
TRIPPI: This is his thing.
KURTZ: Not before he is a candidate.
TRIPPI: ...any Muslim loves this thing. I mean, this is his thing...
TRIPPI: ...and his supporters love it.
KURTZ: So, coming back...
TRIPPI: ...and they don't mind we back off because they think, well that's what the media is making and do explain...
KURTZ: So, Joe coming back to the press, do you think there is a palpable sense of anger in the media which always felt that this whole birther thing was the same conspiracy that Donald Trump pushed it and that he's not apologizing and is that reflected in the coverage?
TRIPPI: I think -- I think it's reflected in the coverage. I think that's true but I think he -- just as she didn't got in trouble by not getting in front of the health stuff, he created it when he did the stunt at his hotel. I mean it is sort of opened him up to it.
TRIPPI: Look, I think there's a lot of bias on all sides in the press, but the biggest one is -- the biggest bias I've ever experienced in terms of all the campaigns I've been in is the bias of the press to create a race. And so, they're going to make something out of him right now. They're not, you know, and now that he's moving, they're going to knock him down.
KURTZ: All right, we're -- just about out of time brief comment, Erin?
MCPIKE: Oh, I agreed. The press always wants a race, but I do think for the bulk of this year, they've treated it that it's not a race.
TRIPPI: Yes, yes exactly.
KURTZ: Yes, a month ago I said on this and said the polls are going to tighten and stop writing off Donald Trump. The polls have tightened. I knew -- I'm covering enough races to know that. Erin McPike, Kelly Riddell, Joe Trippi thanks very much for joining us this Sunday.
Still to come, two big stories about Donald Trump, that turned out to be wrong.
And we're awaiting a news conference. We're looking a live pictures here, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at the top of the hour, will address the explosion in Manhattan last night that injured 29 people. Fox will have that live.
KURTZ: The New York Post created a huge media storm by publishing these 20-year-old nude modeling photos of Melania Trump, the tabloid saying the timing of the photoshoot raise questions about whether Donald Trump's Slovenian-born wife was in the U.S. illegally and whether she had lied to immigration authorities.
But, now that a Trump lawyer has certified that Melania did the photoshoot on a legitimate visa in 1996 a year after it was reported, the post ran one photograph saying the photographer has admitted giving the paper wrong information. But where are the corrections from everyone else who ran with this story.
Here's another one, the media ripped the Trump Foundation which did make an improper contribution to Florida Attorney-General, Pam Bondi by trying to influence her after the Orlando Sentinel reported her office was considering opening investigation of Trump University.
But "The New York Times" has now undercut that story by revealing that $25,000 check to Bondi was signed and dated four days before that story. Good for the Times, but have you seen much other coverage of this? Nope, the media just move on.
Now, Donald trump was on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. And The Tonight Show host boldly went where cable news types have already gone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Now, I would say that Jimmy Fallon is great and also he copied me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean?
TRUMP: It's not that color. I actually comment that.
KELLY: Oh, I see. There's no receding hairline there.
TRUMP: Well, it's not dead. It's a tiny, tiny receded, you know.
KELLY: That's good.
TRUMP: I am to take to look a little bit older.
KELLY: Just went in there.
KELLY: Oh, thanks a lot, Alex. OK.
KELLY: I couldn't get it to move. Oh, well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Isn't it encouraging for our democracy that television hosts are making absolutely sure that Trump is authentic?
That's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I'm Howard Kurtz. Check out our Facebook page, give us a like shout at me on twitter@howardkurtz, email@example.com.
A programming note, no replay for our program through the election as Fox News moves to live coverage on Sunday afternoon. So, catch us at 11:00 a.m. ET, 8:00 PT as you usually do. We're at Long Island's Hofstra University next Sunday to preview the first presidential debate, which you may hear something about in the next week or so.
We'll see you then with the latest Buzz.
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