This is a rush transcript from "Media Buzz," October 30, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On our buzz meter this Sunday, a media explosion as FBI again investigates Hillary Clinton less than two weeks before the election. Dominating the headlines and prompting partisan sniping from both sides.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS: Hillary is surrounded by deviants and that's a problem. And that leaves our security exposed.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN: It's horrible for Hillary Clinton but legally we're at a very preliminary stage.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: So the material, in terms of Hillary Clinton and this previous investigation and everything, maybe totally insignificant as far as that investigation is concerned. This stuff may mean nothing.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN: It seems to me that director Comey did exactly the right thing. He had to go public otherwise he would have been accused after this election of hiding it from the voters.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
KURTZ: But are the pundits jumping to conclusions about the new e-mails discovered by the bureau? Are commentators on the right and the left switching sides about the integrity of FBI chief James Comey and will the press make this the defining issue in the campaign's home stretch? We'll talk to Kellyanne Conway, Trump' campaign manager and Mark Cuban, a maverick Hillary backer.
The FBI's move follows the latest WikiLeaks dump showing that Clinton's top advisers said during the e-mail scale (ph) that she has terrible instincts and a pathological refusal to apologize and warnings about Bill Clinton's aides hustling business at the Clinton Foundation. Why are these hacked e- mails finally getting major media attention?
Plus, Donald Trump opening a new argument in his attacks on the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The media isn't just against me. They are against all of you. That's really what they are against.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: But is that true? I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."
The FBI's decision to open an inquiry into Hillary Clinton again capped a week of very bad press for the Democratic nominee. New disclosures by WikiLeaks showing that Chelsea Clinton complained about her father's aides cashing in on the Clinton Foundation and she said taking away money from her parents.
On the scandal over Hillary's private server erupted last year, campaign manager John Podesta said some of her loyalists weren't forthcoming with the facts. Long time adviser Neera Tanden wrote that they wanted to get away with it. As for Clinton, her instincts can be terrible. Then came James Comey's letter to Capitol Hill and both candidates reacted with Hillary Clinton holding a brief news conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton's corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the oval office.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Have you spoken to Huma? Was she able to give you any information about that?
HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You know, we've heard these rumors. We don't know what to believe and I'm sure there will be even more rumors, that's why it is incumbent upon the FBI to tell us.
In fact, it's not just strange, it's unprecedented and it is deeply troubling.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
KURTZ: Joining us now to analyze the campaign coverage Erin McPike, a political commentator and former reporter for RealCleaPolitics, Kelly Riddell, deputy opinion editor of the Washington Times, and Ruth Marcus, deputy editorial page editor and columnist for the Washington Post.
Erin McPike, the FBI launching this inquiry, not reopening the investigation as NBC, Washington Post, Politico and others initially reported and then retracted. It's obviously a bombshell story, but given that we don't know what's in these e-mails, should journalists be treating it as a nuclear bomb?
ERIN MCPIKE, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I do think that when it broke on Friday, the media covered it breathlessly as they should have because we didn't know what it was going to look like. Now I think in the days that followed, they've taken a step back and said, okay, we need to actually get our facts straight on this. But I think it was appropriately covered on Friday for sure as the bombshell that it was.
KURTZ: Through that point, Kelly Riddell, here's yesterday's New York Times front page. The entire top half you can see here three different stories about the FBI issue. So obviously it's a big story, but now the Clinton campaign -- the press got an e-mail saying, media breathtakingly cover latest supposed Clinton scandal, when the facts come out it fizzles. Your take on that line of argument?
KELLY RIDDELL, WASHINGTON TIMES: My take on it, first the GOP nominee, they'd still be all over this. There wouldn't be any questions about the DOJ.
RIDDELL: Yeah, the press. There would be no question of it.
KURTZ: You don't think there'll be a single question about what James Comey did?
RIDDELL: You know, well, I don't believe so not in the way they're covering it now. I mean, the Clinton campaign clearly wants to discredit James Comey. They put out their machine today in all of the Sunday shows. The fact of the matter is we don't know the facts of the matter so, we all have to stay tuned. They cannot say that they want the FBI to be so transparent and put everything out there when they have really delayed this investigation from the very beginning and have been anything but transparent and that's Clinton's team.
KURTZ: Yahoo's Mike Isikoff reports that the FBI doesn't even know what is in these e-mails that were on the devices of Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, because the bureau as of last night hadn't even gotten a search warrant. So, is it possible that all of these coverage, and I'm not quarrelling (ph) with the coverage and this is an explosion in the last weeks ends up being -- possibly ends up being about something that's not that serious?
RUTH MARCUS, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, it's absolutely possible. And you know, it's really a remarkable moment because one minute, depending on what side of the political spectrum you're on, Jim Comey is a hero. The next minute he's a fool and then vice versa. Either the media is showing for him by endorsing his decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton or they're attacking him. I mean, it goes so many different ways.
Look, this is a Donald Rumsfeld moment. There's a lot of known, unknown here and we have the combination of this sort of soap opera of a presidential campaign and the speed it up media cycle where we have to react instantly. It was imperative for the media to react to this. It's also imperative for us to then kind of pull the lens back and figure out what we know and don't know here.
KURTZ: Well, let me ask you to react to that because it does kind of reek of hypocrisy. We have a lot of conservative commenting. Donald Trump himself blasting Comey's decision not to pursue criminal charges in the original case and now praising him as this fine public servant. Partisan?
RIDDELL: It's partisan, but that's politics, right. The media has a responsibility to cover this truthfully and honestly, and right now it just seems like they are just taking the Clinton line that this is all rigged and the DOJ is in for it for themselves. And you know what, they attacked Donald Trump on those same lines for saying that, oh, the election could be rigged. How that's a threat to democracy yet the running headlines today, the DOJ could be a threat to democracy. Now that is -- that's hypocritical.
MARCUS: I don't speak for the news side of the paper, I speak for the opinion side of the paper but I'm a little bit confused about how we can simultaneously be accusing the media of overhyping this and responding breathlessly and perhaps over exaggerating the import of this Comey letter and the consequence and which, if they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton they would be downplaying it. So, it's a little bit confusing, your argument here.
KURTZ: Let me get to the flip side which is you've got lots of liberal commentators and opinion folks who said James Comey was a paragon of integrity. He handled the original investigation so perfectly. Now, he's a former Bush administration, a Republican hack who is unfairly tilting the election?
MCPIKE: Yeah, I think we saw a lot of this from the media actually on Friday afternoon that he was kind of damned if he did, damned if he didn't either way. I don't think -- he's just a little pawn in this whole story.
KURTZ: He's not a pawn. He's the director of the FBI.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's a major actor.
MCPIKE: He is a major actor but this is -- he's one character in a huge story.
MCPIKE: And I think that we had to cover this in every way and yes, he made a decision and made a decision again. Maybe his decisions were wrong but he had to do what he had to do.
MARCUS: Right, I mean, he is at this point the absolute leading character of this story.
RIDDELL: I'm sorry, this is where you're wrong -- Hillary Clinton is the leading factor in this story, the fact it originated with her.
KURTZ: One at a time. Ruth, one at a time. Ruth.
MARCUS: Other than the two protagonists, the Republican nominee and the Democratic nominee -- and I think that one of the things that's really important to do and I'm just going to plug (ph) my own newspaper here, take a look at washingtonpost.com. There's a very powerful op-ed by a former Democratic deputy attorney general and Republican deputy attorney general.
RIDDELL: That's a never Trumper.
MARCUS: He is a never Trumper.
RIDDELL: So that's exactly unbiased.
MARCUS: Fully disclosed, who have both spent a lot of time in the Justice Department, supervising FBI investigations who are appalled by this.
RIDDELL: Where they appalled -- did they write an op-ed when Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met on the tarmac about how disgusted and appalled they were about that?
MARCUS: I can't speak for them but I think...
RIDDELL: Well, I think that's double standard.
MARCUS: No, it is not a double standard...
RIDDELL: Yes, it is.
MARCUS: ...because we don't know, and you know...
RIDDELL: And no, so you're not going to investigate what went on in that 39-minute meeting.
KURTZ: Certainly the media covered that -- the media did -- I don't know about these two individuals but the media covered that extensively. Let me just pull back the camera just a moment. How bizarre is it that Anthony Weiner who is sexting a girl who said she was 15 and the FBI investigation of that, of course he's married to Huma Abedin, and that drags Hillary Clinton into the FBI dragnet.
I mean, if you wrote this as a Hollywood script, it would be rejected as just outlandish. How bizarre is it that the Weiner angle is now, you know, brought us to where we are?
MCKPIKE: Well, I think it's totally bizarre, you know, and that's kind of something that Hillary Clinton has to deal with. But look at the people she keeps around her. I think this is a thing that we need to look at more closely going into the last couple of weeks of the election, the last 10 days, nine days -- and then if she is elected -- the council that she keeps. This is a big problem. She seems to have this very insular circle and she can't seem to get rid of the people who are causing her trouble.
KURTZ: There are a lot of examples. Let me turn to WikiLeaks which I thought was a very damaging story, couple of days of disclosures. For example -- I don't have enough time to put it up on the screen, but you know, Tanden is a co-chairperson of her transition team saying, "who actually told Hillary she could use a private e-mail. The whole thing is blanking insane." This was Clinton Foundation stuff. The lead story one day in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, above the fold, lead the CBS Evening news, lead the NBC Nightly news, why do you think it's breaking through where the earlier WikiLeaks stuff did not?
RIDDELL: Because there's a memo by Dou Band that said quite specifically...
KURTZ: Doug Band, longtime Bill Clinton confidant and...
RIDDELL: How they used the charity to enrich President Clinton. So that was a bombshell there.
MCPIKE: But here's the thing -- yeah, it was but people seem to think that this just came out. In the fall of 2013, the New Republic did a cover story called Clinton, Inc. A first rate investigative reporter by the name Alec MacGillis wrote this story. Okay, this is not a new thing. And in fact, Juliana Goldman at CBS has done many stories about the Clinton Foundation and its entanglements. It's taken this scandal to really make it into the...
KURTZ: Right, but what is new here is that you have the inner circle of Hillary Clinton and the private memos which were hacked e-mails which we never should have seen, but nevertheless, you know, criticizing her and people around her and her husband including Chelsea Clinton for their handling, but Ruth, you wrote to day in the Washington Post the Clinton's unseemly money chase is repulsive talking about all the dealings around the foundation. Doesn't this play into a media narrative that the Clintons skirt (ph) ethical rules, that they're obsessed with making money, they're too close to big donors and corporations and all that?
MARCUS: Yes, it does. And you know, it's perfectly possible to both have a view about Donald Trump's fitness to be president, to have a view about Hillary Clinton's fitness to be president and to say with all honesty that there are aspects of her behavior and character and aspects of Bill Clinton's behavior and character that are a mark against them and that's my piece in this morning's paper, basically argues the best thing for Bill Clinton to do as first gentleman if he gets there, is to fade from the scene.
KURTZ: We'll just go wait. We'll see if that happens. Kind of hard to imagine. All right, let me get a break. Write to us about media, email@example.com. When we come back, looking at how the press is handling the continuing controversy over Donald Trump's female accusers and how he and his surrogates are pushing back. And later, a leading voice reach candidate, Kellyanne Conway runs Trump campaign and Mark Cuban, a Hillary Clinton supporter.
KURTZ: The media continue to report on the women accusing Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. There were a couple more this week, now 11 or 12, and he continues to call them liars and attack the press coverage. Erin McPike, is this still a big story? It has come up in a number of interviews that Trump has done in the recent time?
MCPIKE: And he should be continued to get asked about it. He should. It is an important story. Nobody has really gotten to the bottom of it, but it's clear that this FBI story has pushed it out of the front pages.
KURTZ: Right, and I think it was fading a bit before that, well, let's get to something that has been covered I would say by every media outlet on the planet of what was a lengthy and testy exchange between Megyn Kelly, former House Speaker and now Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich on "The Kelly File."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: If Trump is a sexual predator, that is...
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: He's not a sexual predator.
KELLY: Okay, that's your opinion. I'm taking a position on it.
GINGRICH: You cannot say that. You could not defend that statement.
KELLY: I am not taking a position on it.
GINGRICH: Now, I'm sick and tired of people like you using language that's inflammatory that's not true.
KELLY: Excuse me, Mr. Speaker, you have no idea whether it's true or not. What we know is that there are at least --
GINGRICH: Donald Trump is -- and neither do you.
KELLY: That's right and I'm not taking a position on it, unlike you.
KELLY: Yes you are. Want to go back to the tapes of your show recently. You are fascinated with sex and you don't care about public policy.
KELLY: Me? Really?
GINGRICH: And that's what I get out of watching you tonight.
KELLY: You know what, Mr. Speaker, I'm not fascinated by sex but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we're getting in the oval office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZX: And it went on. Your thoughts on that exchange.
MCPIKE: I thought she handled it remarkably well, and I think there are lots of other anchors who might not have handled it so well, who might have gotten flustered, who may have gotten angry but she proved again why she has been the most consequential anchor I think of this election cycle, and that is why you saw all these other media outlets cover it, because she's done so well.
KURTZ: How about Newt Gingrich? You've covered him in the past.
MCPIKE: I have and I covered his presidential race in 2011 and 2012, and Newt Gingrich certainly knows how to make news. I thought this was an interesting and puzzling way for him to go about it given what took him out of politics. But he does know how to make news and he certainly did that night.
KURTZ: Well, Gingrich was there as a Trump supporter and he made it very personal though and he went on to dare Megyn Kelly to say that Bill Clinton was a sexual predator and she said her show would cover that...
RIDDELL: She wouldn't do it though, did she? She wouldn't do it. You know, she is...
KURTZ: Wait, her response was...
RIDDELL: She did not say Bill Clinton is a sexual predator.
KURTZ: Her response was that she did interview Kathleen Willey and that she ignored (ph) she is saying that Donald Trump is a sexual predator.
RIDDELL: Yes, she did. She implied that. She used language from...
KURTZ: Kelly, Kelly, the sentence began with if -- if what these women are saying is true. So, I don't think you should say that Megyn Kelly is saying that one is and one isn't. She's saying she covered it, but I didn't mean to interrupt you. Go ahead.
RIDDELL: No, I don't think Megyn Kelly looked good in that interview. I don't think that Newt Gingrich looked good in that interview, especially when he started wagging his finger at Megyn Kelly. That looked particularly bad. But you know, I think it's Megyn Kelly shopping for a new job and that could have been part of the reason why she, you know, took on Newt Gingrich in that way.
KURTZ: Why is it not Megyn Kelly doing interview the best that she can when she was suddenly personally under attack by a guest?
RIDDEL: It could very well be that. I'm saying people from the right side of things or Trump supporters also think that, you know, she has new network contract negotiations going on.
MARCUS: If Megyn Kelly is shopping for a new job, I thought she did a pretty good job of selling herself.
RIDDELL: That's a good thing.
MARCUS: No, no, no. I am saying that I thought she behaved strong and appropriately and this was interview where one person seemed overwrought and a little out of control and was wagging his finger and the other person was entirely in control and trying to stick to the facts and stick to what, as you pointed out accurately, she actually said.
KURTZ: Well, Newt Gingrich is a passionate guy. We remember from 2012 he doesn't think much of the mainstream media, ranting as the media partially in that campaign. And it's just amazing to me how much coverage that this got. But just to finish up on this, let's turn to this and we get a brief response from each of you. A week ago, everybody in the press saying race is over, who's going to be in Hillary's cabinet? Has this -- the journalistic mind-set on this now reset in light of this FBI inquiry, Erin.
MCPIKE: I think it has slightly. At least for a couple of days and I think reporters did take it seriously, okay, we have a race again.
RIDDELL: The polls are tightening. It shows that we have a race again. ABC poll now within one, it was 12 last week.
MARCUS: I think we're all learning the it's not over until it's over especially in this soap opera campaign.
KURTZ: The Yogi Berra line really counts. I sat on this set and I said I know it looks like certainly an uphill climb for Trump, but let's not all be in the prediction business. And then I saw like, who's going to be Hillary Clinton's, you know, agriculture secretary, and she...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know?
KURTZ: I don't know. I have no inside knowledge and she may still win. Great to see you all, Ruth Marcus, Kelly Riddell, Erin McPike. Thanks for joining us this Sunday. Ahead, Kellyanne Conway with the Trump campaign's view of the new FBI inquiry into the Hillary -- into Hillary Clinton's e- mail, I should say, and businessman and NBA owner Mark Cuban on why he's campaigning against Donald Trump. But first, a spate Trump interviews this week. We'll show you the best and the worst in our video verdict.
KURTZ: Donald Trump did a round of interviews venturing beyond Fox News and a couple of them turned pretty testy while one was not. On "Good Morning America," George Stephanopoulos brought up Trump's threat to sue the 11 or so women who've accused him of sexual misconduct.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This was out of blue, made up, probably by the Clinton campaign.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC CO-HOST: Do you have any evidence of that?
TRUMP: Well, many of their stories have already been debunked. Many of the stories have already been debunked.
STEPHANOPOULOS: In the "People" magazine story they brought forward six (inaudible) corroborative stories.
TRUMP: Why didn't she write the story 12 years ago?
STEPHANOPOULOS: She said she was afraid.
TRUMP: Oh, she was afraid. Give me a break. If she was afraid to write it, she would have gotten Pulitzer Prize, give me a break.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Stephanopoulos was pressing him on his blanket dismissal of his accusers and Trump, as usual, pushed back hard. CNN's Dana Boesch asked why Trump was taking time away from the campaign trail to plug the opening of his D.C. hotel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And so to people say you're taking time out of swing states to go do this. You say...
TRUMP: For you to ask me that question is actually very insulting because Hillary Clinton does one stop and then she goes home and sleeps and yet you'll ask me that question. I think it's a very rude question to be honest with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Actually, it's kind of a bogus issue. Trump did a lot of interviews when he was here in Washington but the question was asked in a fair way. A very different approach from Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News and MSNBC, who was, shall we say, kinder and gentler.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK HALPERIN, MSNBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Did it feel differently, people reacting like this is a different tone, a different way of talking about your candidacy? People say this is a great Trump speech. Are there a concern...
TRUMP: Well, I love that they say that.
HALPERIN: ...you've redefined how candidates talk about polls. Some polls now you're winning, some you're behind. We've got a new poll where you're up in Florida.
HALPERIN: What's your general sense of where you are in the battle ground states -- Florida, Iowa, Ohio.
TRUMP: I think we will soon be winning New Hampshire. We're going up there.
HALPERIN: New polls actually say its closer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Mark Halperin is a good journalist and I know he has to maintain access to Trump for his various platforms but that was soft. Coming up, "Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban and why he turned against his fellow Billionaire. But up next, Trump campaign chief, Kellyanne Conway on her candidate, the media, Hillary Clinton and, of course, the new FBI probe.
KURTZ: With the presidential race taking another surprise turn this weekend, let's go to Trump Tower in New York where joining us is Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump's campaign manager. Kellyanne, welcome.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Hi Howie.
KURTZ: So Donald Trump had been going around saying the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton was rigged as early as Friday morning. He said the FBI should be ashamed. I know this is a separate inquiry but your campaign's view of James Comey and his decision making suddenly seems more favorable.
CONWAY: Well, the fact it is a separate investigation is the key here. In July -- on July 5th in fact, Jim Comey went out and gave this rousing indictment of Hillary Clinton and how reckless and careless she was and then said -- yet he would not prosecute. Two days later under oath to Congress, Howie, he said that he basically undercut his own conclusion and then undercut Hillary Clinton's own words.
When he was asked under oath, by Chairman Trey Gowdy, he said there was not one device, there were 13. There were multiple devices. Yes, it is true there was classified national security information contained in those e- mails on her private servers. So, he undercut his conclusion and he undercut her words. This investigation is separate. And I think I could argue that had Comey sat on this new information, he would have been impacting the election and we can't have that.
KURTZ: Well, is it possible since even the FBI, according to reports, doesn't know what these e-mails are, hasn't reviewed the e-mails on the devices of Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, and this could turn out to be nothing. Would you acknowledge that?
CONWAY: It's possible that so what? In other words, what we're reminded of is the cloud of corruption that always follows Hillary Clinton. We're having this entire conversation about a renewed FBI investigation because Hillary Clinton did what she always does, put Hillary first. She put Hillary first above national security, above the safety of Americans and she could put this all to rest right now.
She could call into your show right now, Howie, and say I just talked to Huma Abedin and here is what's in those e-mails, but they won't do that. They won't make any comment about Huma and what could possibly be in those e-mails. So, she probably knows a lot more than we know right now.
KURTZ: The Clinton campaign has not commented on the substance, that is true if (inaudible) the fire power (ph) on Comey.
CONWAY: No, and they certainly said -- instead they're attacking Jim Comey. Instead they're attacking his reputation, his veracity. I thought -- I thought in the morning shows today, her team whose either filled with smart people did a very terrible job trying to defend the strategy of taking down Jim Comey and demanding that he expedite his investigation so that we can see everything right away.
KURTZ: Right, but let me get to this. Donald Trump has been saying repeatedly that if he's elected, he will re-open the original FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton and he said during the debate if he was president she'd be in jail. Now, a lot of people -- some people I should say, sympathetic to Donald Trump, had been saying the democracy of presidential candidate shouldn't be vowing to prosecute his opponent.
CONWAY: Well, Jim Comey went ahead and did what Donald Trump said he would do, which is re-open the FBI investigation as it turns out...
KURTZ: Technically, it's not a re-opening. It's a separate inquiry as you noted, but it should...
CONWAY: Fine. But here we are, still we can never get the stench and the stain of the Clinton's off of that as it turns out, and this is a great example of that. But look, what Donald Trump has said is that he believes there was criminal wrongdoing, that he knows anybody else -- the military guy who took pictures inside the submarine who's now going to face a year in jail, certainly general James Cartwright faces five years in prison and $250,000 fine for lying to the FBI one time confirming information to two New York Times reporters that they've already written and he was trying to protect national security, and this guy faces jail time. So, we know this is all about a separate set of rules for Hillary Clinton and the rest of us.
KURTZ: And we move on. All right. You've criticized the media coverage of Donald Trump and there's been an avalanche of negative coverage and we've covered -- we've talked about that extensively...
KURTZ: ...on this show, but do you agree with your boss that many mainstream journalists are dishonest and corrupt?
CONWAY: I think what we saw on WikiLeaks is that, in the case of some individuals, certainly not most or all, that some are definitely in active collusion with in cooperation with the Clinton campaign and you simply can't have an interested biased press in that regard where you literally have (inaudible), Howie, saying, hey, if there's any problem with the article I'm about to file, if you like to add a little bit more or subtract some, feel free to do it.
You can't just have that. We can't have them saying I'd like to do a really nice profile of Mrs. Clinton. Don't worry she'll look great in it. That's not journalism. That's advocacy and that's collusion. And some of these individuals probably (ph) should be getting a check from the Clinton campaign not from their, you know, "disinterested press employer."
KURTZ: That's fair. I mean, the collusion description is fair. Some of this is coziness. I've written about it and talked about, if you're not using the word corrupt. Same question about polls. I mean, Donald Trump has been talking about phony polls. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you believe the polls are phony and I wonder if you asked him to stop saying that.
CONWAY: Well some of the polls are just dead wrong because they're not accounting for all the new voters and the lapse (ph) voters and the cross- over voters. They're relying upon listed samples, not intention to vote and I don't think that they're giving people a comfortable out particularly would be Clinton voters. They're not giving them a comfortable out to admit that they may just not feel very excited and engaged this particular election cycle because of who is at the top of the ticket.
But when you do look at the poll like the ABC News/Washington Post poll, which one week ago showed us down 12 points and now shows us down one point and all those who enthusiastically embraced the ABC News/Washington Post will have to live with it now, and it shows us one point behind. They're trying to figure out how to do that. But I think what Donald Trump is saying is something I've been saying for months and months under a hail of criticism by the way and people like Ed Rendell saying the same thing now, which is there's an undercover Trump voter.
These polls are probably undercounting his support because of the enthusiasm and the momentum and the engagement, and this idea I've seen in press reports, Howie, where we'll say -- what we know there are 15,000 people in this rally, some of them waiting in line for up to eight hours to get in but will they vote? Seriously will they vote? They've been there for eight hours in the rain and will they actually vote. You know they're going to vote.
KURTZ: It's fine -- it's fine to criticize the polls when obviously it's different in saying they're phony. Let me get another question in here. The heavy media coverage of the FBI opening this inquiry and in recent days of the WikiLeaks disclosures about the inner circle criticizing Hillary Clinton and, you know, the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton, Inc. and all of that. Doesn't that show that the press is willing to hold Hillary Clinton accountable as well as Donald Trump?
CONWAY: It shows that they can't ignore breaking news. And frankly, even the WikiLeaks, it actually wasn't covered on all these front pages until it involved the pay for play with Bill Clinton, until you saw the words Bill Clinton, Inc., $66 million worth of commercial interest for him going to him. Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal calling them grifters-in-chief so, I think it really took it to go all the way to the top for folks to get interested.
That said, this is a breaking news story and frankly, Howie, if you look what was covered last week before the WikiLeaks stories broke about Bill Clinton and before the FBI investigation was revealed, it was all about how the race is over. The path is narrowed, the path is gone. That's really just disingenuous journalism when we know most of America has yet to vote. We should not robbing America of its voice and its choice.
KURTZ: I agree with that. I got to wrap it up. I sat on this set and said don't call it over, folks, two weeks is a long time in politics. Kellyanne Conway.
CONWAY: And here we are.
KURTZ: Great to see you.
CONWAY: Thank you.
KURTZ: Thanks very much. And Mark Cuban, the one-time Trump pal now campaigning for Hillary Clinton is coming up next. And later, how Juan Williams became the latest victim of WikiLeaks.
KURTZ: Now for the other side. I spoke earlier from Dallas with Mark Cuban, chairman of the cable network AXS, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a supporter of Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Mark Cuban, welcome.
MARK CUBAN, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
KURTZ: You were pals with Donald Trump, two rich guys, friendly rivals maybe. He had "The Apprentice." You started "The Benefactor." Why did you decide to turn on him?
CUBAN: Well, I never really turned on him early on. We just had a little rivalry and that was fun and, you know, it was just for yucks, but once he decided to run, I actually was very positive about him at the beginning.
CUBAN: I thought he was candid, open, honest, but you know, at some point you have to dig in and learn the issues and you know, I told him specifically you've got to understand what you're talking about. And I think that's where he fell short and that's why I wouldn't say turned against him but went in a different direction.
KURTZ: So he didn't take your advice, but at the same time, it seems kind of personal. I've heard you he flaunts his wealth. It seems like you kind of resent Donald Trump.
CUBAN: No, I don't resent Donald Trump at all. You know, it's just -- look, if he was running for anything other than president of the United States I could care less. It's an important office so I thought it was important to reflect on what I thought about him.
KURTZ: Now, you would have to admit, I know you're for Hillary Clinton, we'll get into that in a second, but the media coverage of Trump in the last couple of months has been pretty overwhelmingly negative.
CUBAN: Well, that's of his own making, isn't it? You know, if you're going to say the things that he says, if you're going to, you know, make the flippant comments that he makes, you're going to get covered. I mean, look, all he had to do was shut up nine out of ten times and the coverage would be distinctly different. It's just not something he's capable of doing.
KURTZ: Well, certainly some of his own words had been used, I mean, issued against him, but you don't detect that in the media establishment, there is a certain hostility toward Trump?
CUBAN: Well, I mean look, on the way up, he was happy to ride the train, right. He bragged about media coverage. He was excited about it. He loved the live look-ins, the live coverage of everything he did during the primaries and early on in the presidential race. It's a two-edged sword. You know that. We all know that. So that if you're going to love it on the way up, you know, everybody is going to turn on you at some point and you've got to be able to deal with it.
KURTZ: Well, even on the way up, he was often criticizing the dishonest media and singling out news organizations. I mean...
CUBAN: Yeah, that's his shtick.
KURTZ: He punches back while it's a shtick that, you know, any politician is entitled to do. Now, I've seen you at all the debates so I'm wondering, how did you go from emerging as a kind of a Trump critic to being an open advocate for Hillary Clinton?
CUBAN: Well, once I kind of decided that Donald wasn't qualified to be president, before I endorsed Secretary Clinton, I had to do my homework. I mean, I'm a tech guy so I dug in on the e-mail issues and it was clear to me that she dealt with all of her classified documents using hard copy and the FBI reports confirmed that. You know, I dug in and did my own research on the foundation, you know, there have never been any reported evidence of pay to play. I saw that the foundation did good things. So once I ticked off the things that were kind of the media issues, the branding issues that were assigned against her, I then decided to endorse her.
KURTZ: All right. But it sounds also like your main goal is to stop Trump. Let me ask you this...
CUBAN: No, not necessarily. To be clear, I think she'll be a good president.
KURTZ: Many people feel that the mainstream press is in the tank, not the "Shark Tank" but in the tank for Hillary Clinton, at least have been much easier on her. Your thoughts?
CUBAN: Well first you have to decide what's mainstream press, you know, is the cable news network with highest ratings or, you know, who is mainstream. But that aside, you know, I don't think there's any question that there are certain reporters that favor Hillary and there are certain reporters that favor Donald and some, you know, some have more visibility than others. But to say one is in the tank for the other, I don't see as a platform that you can say mainstream media has got it in for Donald and is very pro Hillary Clinton.
KURTZ: What was your relationship with Trump like before this campaign and tell me a little more about this conversation in which you say you advised him to drill down more on the issues and did he say that he would? I mean, tell me a little more about that?
CUBAN: Yeah, I'm not going to tell you that we're friends, I mean, acquaintances at best for the longest time. We really just started talking. When I said that he was the best thing to happen to politics because he's open and honest and scripted, then he reached out to me and he called me a couple of times and we had some conversations. But the majority of our interactions were me sending an e-mail to his assistant, his assistant printing them out, him writing a reply, her scanning it back to me -- scanning it and then re-sending it back to me as an e-mail.
And we would have a lot of give-and-take. So, I went on one of the networks and said, look, you know, at this point in time I'm not supporting Donald. I think, you know, A, B, and C are issues and he reached out to me and said, what happened? I sent him an in-depth e-mail, you know, detailing what I just told you.
KURTZ: Interesting. So, he wanted the owner of the Dallas Mavericks on his team but it obviously didn't work out, you've concluded. All right, now look, this campaign has obviously raised your profile. So in a Trumpian kind of way, are you building your brand? And having told the Washington Post at one point that Trump has paved the way for someone like you to run for higher office are you laying the groundwork for 20 here?
CUBAN: No, absolutely not. You know, maybe at the beginning that was a possibility but, you know, now here we are, you know, 10 days or whatever it is prior to the election and it's the exact opposite. I think rather than paving the way for somebody who is a celebrity or a business person or an entrepreneur, it's actually had a negative effect now. Anybody in my position that would run going forward is going to be compared to Donald and that's not a positive association.
KURTZ: But just briefly, is all the political visibility here helping to build your personal brand?
CUBAN: Not necessarily. I mean, in Texas, it certainly does not -- it's not an automatic benefit. So no, I wouldn't say it's about building my personal brand at all. I mean, there's a lot -- I have a platform. It's really easy for me to get on media. It's really easy for me to send out a message. I've been apolitical my entire adult life and so, you know, if I would really focused on building my brand, I wouldn't do it by associating with politics at all. That would be the worst possible way to do it.
KURTZ: I hear you. Mark Cuban, thanks very much for joining us.
CUBAN: Thanks, Howie. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: I spoke to Mark Cuban just before news of the FBI investigation. After the break, Donald Trump expands his indictment of the media, which are increasingly complaining about Trump supporters hurling abusive journalist. That's next.
KURTZ: Donald Trump took his campaign against the "dishonest media" in a different direction this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The media isn't just against me. They're against all of you. That's really what they're against. They're not against me, they're against what we represent. Like Hillary Clinton, they look down on the hard-working people of the country, that's what's happened. The media is entitled, condescending and even contemptuous of the people who don't share their elitist views. This is all for money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Joining us now from New York is Joe Concha, media reporter for The Hill. Now Joe, does Donald Trump have a point in saying that the media are also unfair to the millions who support him and to use his word, contemptuous?
JOE CONCHA, THE HILL: Absolutely, Howie. We saw that cover story in The Week magazine where Trump supporters are put up on the cover story brandishing AR-15s and pitchforks and if he loses, they're going to burn down the house, burn down the country and that certainly an unfair portrayal. But I look at a poll this week, Howie, AP that shows that 87 percent of Trump supporters feel that the media is biased against him.
But here's the compelling part of the poll that's kind of buried a little bit. By a four to one margin, four to one, Clinton supporters, quote, "feel there's more bias against Trump than bias in his favor." So given that this -- both sides see that Trump is getting a raw deal in the press, I think it's almost delusional or at least dishonest to say that Trump is engaging in a conspiracy theory saying that the press is against him, where all data and opinion polls contradict that argument.
KURTZ: Yeah, I think the biggest fail in the press in this cycle in a long time has been to be out of touch with millions of working class Americans who are angry and frustrated in the political system and who Trump has tapped into. Now, this is becoming a major issue, which is anger that Trump supporters are showing towards the journalist when they roped off areas at the rallies. The Washington Post, "the press always got booed at Trump rallies but not the aggression on menacing." Politico, "Trump crowds rain hate on the press." CNN's Jim Acosta showed a swastika and the word media. Is it fair to blame Trump for that?
CONCHA: No, I don't believe it is. Remember, that one report with Acosta and I think Jim Acosta is a fine journalist and I'm not doubting his credibility here, but I have to wonder, when he finds a banner with a swastika on it, how do that get there in the first place? And the reason why I ask the question, Howie, is because given that we saw what the Project Veritas James O'Keefe tapes, where it's revealed that Trump supporters were instigated into confrontation, into violence. How do we know that wasn't planted there near a reporter so he could find it and then report it back to the public? I just wonder when we see reports like that, where those types of banners are coming from, where that vitriol is coming from.
CONCHA: If these were plants or this are actual supporters.
KURTZ: Well, in the 40 seconds or so that we have left, you know, the press always finds that Trump supporters who say, you know, there'll be a revolution in he loses. I'm going to get my musket. But that's not necessarily the majority and also, it doesn't mean that Donald Trump doesn't have the right to call out the press as he sees fit.
CONCHA: Absolutely. I mean, Howie, look, it used to be hot air with Trump as far as the press is against me. Every Republican says that. But the WikiLeaks foundations that show -- excuse me, the revelations as far as the document dumps -- that show collusion, that show advising of campaigns, court approval, giving a source actual veto power, sharing stories in advance -- this gives the argument that the press is biased against a foundation and people see that and say you know what, he does have a point.
KURTZ: Those instances are embarrassing. Joe Concha, great to see you. And still to come, the journalist who got harassed after his phone number showed up on WikiLeaks.
KURTZ: Fox's Juan Williams is the latest victim of WikiLeaks. His cell phone was bombarded after his number was included in the hacked e-mails last year to Clinton campaign chief, John Podesta, as Juan writes in The Hill. People left him messages calling him ignorant, an alcoholic, a token black on Fox, corrupt, a liberal stooge, a sellout and what was Williams' sin? Here's what he wrote to Podesta after bumping into him. "John, good Sunday morning. As mentioned, I'd love to have a chance to speak with you when you get back from your travels."
That's right, he wanted to talk to the man running the campaign of the likely Democratic nominee. It's called reporting. Anyone who doesn't get that doesn't understand journalism. Remember when those six-second videos were really hot. Vine amassed a huge following for the ridiculously short little clips. But now, rest in peace, Twitter is shutting down the app. Here's my explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: There are many reasons why Vine failed. Let me run through the whole list. Number one, oops, my six seconds is up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Vine could no longer compete with Instagram and Snapchat. In the blink of an eye, the cool thing was no longer cool. Twitter having its own problems by the way trying to sell itself.
Well that's it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I'm Howard Kurtz. Thanks for watching. We hope you like our Facebook page. Check it out. We post a lot of original content there. We post videos responding to your questions, firstname.lastname@example.org. Question or comment about the media.
And let's continue the conversation on Twitter, @HowardKurtz. Some of you not exactly shy about telling me what you think. We have a lot to get through this morning. We're happy to get to Kellyanne Conway and Mark Cuban interviews. Remember we're back here next Sunday morning 11:00 a.m. Eastern two days before the election with the latest buzz.
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