Trump tries to sack NFL, NBA

This is a rush transcript from "Media Buzz," September 24, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On buzz meter this Sunday, President Trump tries to sack the NFL and slam dunk the NBA, disinviting Golden State Warrior star Steph Curry from a White House visit and calling on football owners to dump protesting players like Colin Kaepernick.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now? He's fired. He's fired!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: With the likes of NFL boss Roger Goodell and basketball star LeBron James punching back, the media rooting against the president.

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A gusher of leaks from the special counsel's office targets Trump and his former campaign manager, producing a cascade of negative stories especially after disclosure that federal authorities wiretapped Paul Manafort.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS: So, Donald Trump's argument that he was being wiretapped, which was so loudly mocked and ridiculed, now appears to be absolutely true.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN: It's just wrong. Paul Manafort being wiretapped and Donald Trump being wiretapped and order by Barack Obama are not the same thing.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: President Trump is vindicated. The liberal mainstream media, they have been caught in a major lie and even a bigger cover-up.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS: This does not vindicate the president for saying that President Obama had wiretapped them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Manafort may well have done something wrong. He may not have, but he's clearly a target in a way that nobody else in the star investigation was except Bill Clinton.

DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS: I do think that Paul Manafort is staring down the barrel of a gun.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

KURTZ: Does Robert Mueller suggesting Manafort to trial by media?

As the president keeps attacking North Korea's leader on Twitter after denouncing him at the U.N., the press rocketing into a debate over his tough language. The pundits speaking ideological sides in this nuclear crisis. Plus, an MSNBC host gets very angry when things go wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: There is insanity in the control room tonight. You have insanity in my earpiece.

Stop the hammering. Stop the hammering out there. Who's got a hammer? Where is it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): I don't know.

O'DONNELL: Where's the hammer?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: A look at why Lawrence O'Donnell apologized. I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "Media Buzz."

Major sports figures have been hitting back hard against the president's criticism of the NFL and the NBA. Football commissioner Roger Goodell says, divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players.

But Trump tweeted, if a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our great American flag or country and should stand for the national anthem. If not, you're fired.

Cleveland's LeBron James was less diplomatic in defending his NBA rival Steph Curry, addressing the president on Twitter as "u bum."

Joining us now to analyze the coverage, Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist. Joe Trippi, the Democratic strategist. Both are Fox News contributor. And Erin McPike, White House correspondent for Independent Journal Review.

Mollie, it feels like we're in the first quarter here. Are the medial cheering for Steph Curry, for Colin Kaepernick, the out of work quarterback who was the first last year to not stand for the national anthem, against the president?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: Right. This is absolutely a newsworthy story. Any time the president weighs in on a hot bath and cultural topic, it deserves to be covered, but how it's covered is very important, too.

And I think there is a large disconnect between many people in newsrooms and the average American or many average Americans who have been frustrated with some of these protests, who see in this a disrespect for the flag.

There is quite a bit of disagreement about whether you're disrespecting the flag in this case. So, it's important to make sure that that the context is provided as well and yes, it seems pretty clear that the media are all in on one side of this.

KURTZ: Joe, the media narrative is the president loves picking fights with people, but usually is other polls or pundits and perhaps you rather be talking about this than the fact that the health care bill is hanging by a thread. But is this different because he's taking on athletes, many of them have their own followings?

JOE TRIPPI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. The media is doing exactly what the president wants.

KURTZ: Taking the bait.

TRIPPI: Yes, exactly. And I think -- but the other thing I think the point is you're making or asking about is correct. LeBron James is not Rand Paul or somebody other politicians. He's picked fights with --

KURTZ: LeBron made a video and his tweets are getting millions (ph) of re- tweets.

TRIPPI: And so that's going to get more media coverage as well. Again, probably playing right into what the president wants.

KURTZ: Is this (INAUDIBLE) with the (INAUDIBLE) because it combines Donald Trump, politics, sports, and race.

ERIN MCPIKE, INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW: Maybe, but, look, I actually want to read a comment that Steph Curry made just yesterday. He's becoming a folk hero. He was even setting out to be one.
But he put this in a really calm light.

Which is a great comment by Steph Curry. And if the media is rooting for comment like that, it kind of make sense, because he is doing something and saying something that Donald Trump does not. He is showing more leadership frankly than Donald Trump.

KURTZ: Well, one of the things here is that this is (INAUDIBLE) media, Joe, when you say taking debate because you have sports talk radio, you have local media and every market talking about their teams, for example Robert Kraft of New England Patriots. Friend of Trump has put out a statement saying he's disappointed.

And just about 90 minutes, let's put it up, an NFL game began in London, Jacksonville versus Baltimore, whole lot of players either kneeling or locking arms during the playing of national anthem.

So, what the president, Mollie, now saying perhaps fans should not go to games if the NFL doesn't take action against these protesting players, this is going to (INAUDIBLE).

HEMINGWAY: It's definitely going to (INAUDIBLE). And part of the thing I think is that we need to see this as the president picking up some sentiment that's already out there. And picking the terms that are most favorable for him.

Right now, you are on one side of the debate which is respect for the flag, respect for the national anthem or you actually have to position yourself against those things. These are actually complicated topics.

Freedom of speech is a complicated topic. Pressure for firing is a complicated topic. I just hope that when the media are covering these things that they understand to delve deeply into those instead of having a surface discussion.

KURTZ: Now you have anybody like Stevie Wonder did, taking a knee has become a sort of (INAUDIBLE) for resistance to the Trump presidency. Every time a celebrity does it, doesn't have to be an athlete anymore, that is going to get coverage. But what do you think --

TRIPPI: We don't have (INAUDIBLE) do that.

KURTZ: Are you ready to go down on me?

TRIPPI: Yes.

KURTZ: We will get a picture of you afterwards. What do you make of Mollie's point that there is a disconnect here between large (INAUDIBLE) country that feels like these are over-entitled or overpaid privileged athletes who nevertheless are disrespecting the flag and the nation's newsrooms where there is more sympathy for peaceful protests?

TRIPPI: Well, they are making peaceful protests and they're protesting on behalf of people they believe don't have a voice particularly when the president of the United States has the big voice that he has and is riling up in a lot of ways playing to his base at the expense of the people these people are kneeling for.

MCPIKE: I think people are starting to say these players aren't patriotic.
They're disrespecting the national anthem and the flag. They have a moment and a microphone to make a statement. And look, in all of these professional sports games, there is always a moment where teams actually pay tribute to service members that separate from the national anthem.

But these players see that there is racism going on in this country and they think that the president is racist. They may actually are making a patriotic moment, I think.

KURTZ: Are you saying much more sympathetic to the protesters than the president on this?

MCPIKE: I do, yes. I admit it.

TRIPPI: I also don't think there is a tradition of this. I mean, John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics.

KURTZ: I remember them.

TRIPPI: You know made --

KURTZ: Right.

HEMINGWAY: People see these protests against them. They don't see it against Donald Trump. They see it against them. Their service in the military, their flag. These symbols are important. And we need to have that be part --

KURTZ: We're going to come back to this a later later in the program. Let me turn to the special counsel's investigation, Paul Manafort. These leaks that Manafort has been told that he will be indicted, also that he had been wiretapped and question is what president voice picked up on these wiretaps, leaking to The New York Times and CNN. In a criminal investigation, it's kind of stunning this level of detail that's been leaked.

HEMINGWAY: We are a year into all this Russia hysteria and still the only times we know of are the criminal leaks of details of FISA investigation.
And here we have yet another one learning about Paul Manafort. It does speak to whether the story has been well covered.

We have to had this general media approach that there is a collusion, that Trump team are traitorist and that they were working with Russia to steal in election when all the evidence seems to not support that, so much to support that there might have been some untoward spying on political opponents by an outgoing administration that was in opposition.

KURTZ: Well, the first Manafor wiretap goes back to 2014. This could possibly have to do with questionable business dealing that don't have anything to do with Donald Trump. We don't know the answer to that. There is no question Mueller is pressuring Manafort.

But what about this hole we place (ph) earlier, Joe? Will this vindicate, some say President Trump saying Barack Obama wiretapped him at Trump Tower and others are saying no, that's not what this is, this is FBI court- approved wiretaps of Paul Manafort and his business dealings?

TRIPPI: Well, it goes to the politicization of all these. Defenders of Trump will say it vindicates him, the acts are there is a big difference Obama didn't order a wiretap of Trump Tower, that's pretty clear. And to Mollie's point though, even these leaks say that they were inconclusive, that there wasn't -- they didn't find any discovery in those conversations
--

KURTZ: We don't know, the investigation is ongoing.

TRIPPI: But that was the reporting, there was no there there or it wasn't at least confirmed that there was.

KURTZ: I'm just so struck, Erin, by the way, people -- pundits on both sides have jumped to conclusions when the fact is, we don't know a lot about the origins of those wiretaps, what was picked up, and even whether Donald Trump's voice was picked up incidentally.

MCPIKE: Right. We don't really know. One thing that I do think is interesting is that you are seeing White House lawyers starting to talk to reporters trying to distance Donald Trump and the White House from Manafort which suggests that they something is coming.

KURTZ: All right. Let me get now to -- sorry, I cut you out. Let me get to President Trump versus the leader of North Korea, the guy he is now calling in a latest tweet, "Little Rocket Man" and saying if his foreign minister backs up Kim Jong-un's position, they wont be around much longer. Here are some of the media reaction to the president's original U.N. speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRY MORAN, JOURNALIST: Totally destroying a nation of 25 million people.
That borders on the threat of committing a war crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is certainly an unusual speech, a weird speech, rocket man, insulting Kim Jong-un.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that North Korea is one of those situations where the president is showing a steady hand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kill the most unpredictable leader on the planet, trading insults like a pair of middle schoolers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Mollie, many liberal pundits slamming the president for his threatening language against Kim. But Barack Obama also said we have the ability to annihilate North Korea.

HEMINGWAY: Well, not just that, but once again, you have a bunch of people coming out in the media saying that it's bad to insult someone who runs slavery camps and has sex slaves, a total violator of human rights. This is not a position you really want to be in if you want to have thoughtful criticism of the president.

But it's also true that they are not understanding that there is a cohesive strategy between the state department's more diplomatic approach and using the rhetoric the president to kind of amp up the heat against China that they do more here.

KURTZ: Now, many conservative pundits who are rooting the president say this was one of greatest speeches at the U.N. ever. But when Mollie says cohesive strategy, the coverage has suggested that at least part of this is Trump's personal pick, the way he loves to insult and this case he's insulting and going at the guy who has nuclear weapons but also is putting on threatening nuclear tests including the hydrogen bomb test.

TRIPPI: And in this case you have two of those kinds of leaders and the coverage of that is amping up the heat on this issue. Look, I think in the end, the coverage has to get more to what's the end game. I mean, in other words, where is this all going? What is -- if there is concerted strategy here, what's the end game to get there? And you don't see much coverage of that.

KURTZ: Erin, half a minute, so some of the coverage are fair. The New York Times said it was a confrontational speech at the U.N. with bombastic flourishes. That is true. But it's another case of a press not quite knowing how to handle a president who doesn't speak in the careful way his predecessors did.

MCPIKE: Well, they don't, but I will also point that there are some stories that noted that there were people in the White House staff who didn't want President Trump to make some of those remarks in his speech. We obviously saw some of the pictures of John Kelly not particularly liking some of the comments.

KURTZ: He looked like he was -- we don't know what he was thinking. Let me get a break. "Media Buzz" at foxnews.com. If you want to write to us, way in there.

When we come back, a very tough week for Sean Spicer. Is the press piling on?

And later, Jimmy Kimmel plunges into the health care debate. Is that risky business for a comedian?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: The media piling against Sean Spicer has been extraordinary in the last few days ever since the former press secretary did that brief bit at the Emmys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: The pundits piled on saying he was celebrating a moment when he lied about the president's inaugural crowd size.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, ANDERSON COOPER 360 SHOW HOST: The good news is Sean Spicer doesn't have to lie for a living anymore. Now, he just seems to be doing it recreationally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: And "Good Morning America" grilled him in a confrontational interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever lied to the American people?

SPICER: I don't think so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the president ever ask you to lie or to manipulate the truth? Do you think you have a credibility issue, Sean?

SPICER: I don't. But it's up to other people to judge that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: And more questions like that. Sean Spicer made mistakes at the White House which he readily admits. Mollie, what explains this extraordinary amount of media abuse, perhaps media payback against the former spokesman?

HEMINGWAY: Right. It seems like the idea is that because this man worked for Donald Trump, he must be treated as a pariah. And it seems like the standard is not universally applied, you know. The previous administration drowned an American citizen and his innocent child without due process.

Do we say that none of those people who work for that administration can be out in public life or when they pushed forth a claim that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it?

Nobody says that these are discrediting statements. Everyone acts like press secretary. It's a new job. It just arrived with Donald Trump when if fact this is the role that press secretaries have played throughout time.

KURTZ: Well, Spicer told me in an interview that he was trying to poke fun at himself. He's self-deprecating. He has no deeper meaning to it. He said no matter what I do now, haters are going to hate.

Joe, is there a double standard? He was out there, difficult job. Donald Trump spokesman. He didn't always personally endorse the things that the president has said like millions of people voted illegal in the election.
And now, NBC reports that no network plans to hire him as a commentator.

TRIPPI: I don't know why no network wants him. But I think, look, he --

KURTZ: The (INAUDIBLE) political guy who now does (INAUDIBLE).

TRIPPI: I'm still surprised.

(LAUGHTER)

TRIPPI: No, but I mean, I think that part of this is he did come on to the stage in the very beginning with what has to be the net clip, one of the biggest sort of -- people just sort of were aghast how he could put a false statement like that out there and he kept defending it.

KURTZ: And he attacked the media on his very first whole day and didn't take any questions and that set the tone.

TRIPPI: Now he's trying to rehabilitate himself and yes, he's going to get shots taken at him. I mean, that's just the way it's going to be.

KURTZ: Erin.

MCPIKE: I think it's a little bit too much. He in an impossible position unfortunately I think with President Trump. That very first day was obviously terrible. I'm sure the guy was terrified. It's too bad that he's getting mocked as badly as he is.

KURTZ: Now, Spicer did make it worse with threat against a veteran reporter, Mike Allen of Axios, who had texted him a question and Spicer wrote back, stop texting or emailing or I'll report it to the appropriate authorities. Look, Spicer was this cool. He made a mistake and he apologized. But that fuels the notion that --

MCPIKE: He's obviously trying to get Mike off his back. He didn't want to have to deal with this anymore. That was probably not quite the right thing to text back because then it wound up at the top of Mike's morning note and everybody read it.

KURTZ: By the way, he was (INAUDIBLE) a very speculative story that Mueller might want a bunch of notebooks that he kept in the White House and at the RNC. He might, he might not. But coming back to your point about, you know, job press secretary is not new.

That interview on GMA, I have never seen an interview 1/10 as aggressive involving any of Obama's guys, Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney, Josh Earnest. They were all snatched up by networks after their tenure.

HEMINGWAY: I also saw Washington Post story say that because Sean Spicer said he represented the president, he was essentially admitting that he lief for the president, not an accurate thing at all to day.

We have currently George Stephanopoulos who worked for the Clinton administration, supported the Clinton Foundation while interviewing Hillary Clinton, and nobody really cares about these things. You have to consistent.

If it's true that you can't have any role with the media after your press secretary or if, you know, if you're doing your job means that you can't be trusted, you need to apply that considerably (ph).

TRIPPI: Here's something different about Spicer because the networks have all picked up Trump people. All of them.

KURTZ: Right man, many, yes.

TRIPPI: No, I mean, he picked them up out --

HEMINGWAY: But is it because we get attack the media and the media can handle anything other than an attack on themselves?

TRIPPIN: What I'm trying to say is there is something that makes him different in the way he's getting handled.

KURTZ: On that note, Joe Trippi, Erin McPike, Mollie. We'll see you a little bit. Ahead, will Facebook sell advertising to anyone from neo-Nazis to Russian propaganda artists? Up next, the Jimmy Kimmel test and health care, and why that Lawrence O'Donnell melt on NBC is going viral.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: The senate health care bill hanging by a thread. One of the major players, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC talk show shot, who's infant son underwent open heart surgery and needs more operations, engaged in a nightly denunciation of Trump's effort and the bill's Republican co-sponsor, Senator Bill Cassidy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE SHOW HOST: And this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.

Do you believe that every American regardless of income should be able to get regular checkups and maternity care, and all those things that people who have health care get and need?

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: Yep.

KIMMEL: So, yep is Washington for nope, I guess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Joining us now from New York on this, other television (INAUDIBLE), Shelby Holliday, video reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Shelby, Jimmy Kimmel obviously it's personal and passionate for him, but he's a big Trump critic.

He's fighting and debating a Republican senator. We now know he's consulted with Chuck Schumer. Could that turn off viewers, some viewers who just want entertainment in late night?

SHELBY HOLLIDAY, SENIOR VIDEO REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, some viewers are certainly annoyed and they have criticized Kimmel for speaking out on an issue that they say he shouldn't be talking about, he's not an expert on health care.

Kimmel, on the other hand, has said, you know, my son was born with preexisting condition and I have a duty to speak up. So, there is a hot debate about whether or not he should even be discussing it.

But what Kimmel has done has really pick this big debate about health care and the Affordable Care Act and personalize it and so gets on one issue.
It's an important issue, but all we're talking about is preexisting condition because of Jimmy Kimmel.

That's really frustrated Republicans. Lindsey Graham visibly frustrated the other day because they want to talk about what Obamacare is doing to small businesses --

KURTZ: Why?

HOLLIDAY: -- how it's hurting a lot of Americans.

KURTZ: (INAUDIBLE) would create 50 separately regulated markets. It's more complicated than just than. But let me --

HOLLIDAY: It's very complicated, but Kimmel made it all about this one thing.

KURTZ: Right. OK. But, you know, the Jimmy Kimmel test and so forth, does this suggest that we are in a new era now, maybe was inspired by Jon Stewart where comics have to be socially relevant and in most cases especially on late night liberal?

HOLLIDAY: Yes, in this case, with President Trump, all the comics who have been really critical of Trump have done well in terms of ratings. They're not just doing it because they personally are liberal and believe these things, but they're also doing it because ratings are going up.

KURTZ: Right.

HOLLIDAY: It's a financial decision.

KURTZ: All right. Now, this tape of MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell was leaked to media. Apparently is a rehearsal.

HOLLIDAY: Oh, boy.

KURTZ: Things went wrong. He lost his cool. Let's play a little bit more of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'DONNELL: Empty out the (beep) control room and find out where this is going on.

So now I have to chase those stupid (beep) end trails that you allowed him to stick out there. Jesus Christ! Crazy (beep) sound coming in my ears.
(beep) stupid hammering. I told you why I wanted those (beep) words cut. It just (beep) sucks (beep) sucks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Pretty embarrassing stuff.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLLIDAY: I think this is a good time to remind people of the golden rule.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The fact that this was leaked, it's not just surprising to people. If you are working for a man who is cursing like that and freaking out behind the scenes, you may not exactly love the guy.

However, he has apologized. And a big issue that just really shed light on this, the fact that his contract negotiations are being drawn out, MSNBC's prime time has done really well over the past few years, but he is negotiating his contract and that leaves the question whether or not --

KURTZ: Well, his contract --

HOLLIDAY: -- someone is intentionally leaking this tape.

KURTZ: -- his contract was dragging out at the time. This was back in August.

HOLLIDAY: At the time, yes.

KURTZ: And that has been resolved. Look --

HOLLIDAY: So a lot of people are wondering if this is revenge.

KURTZ: Clearly as payback by somebody. Lawrence O'Donnell said, I'm sorry.
A better anchorman and a better person would have handled it better. I am not going to pile on here. I have been testing occasionally off camera when things go wrong. I think a lot of people in the business could be vulnerable to this sort of thing. And he thought this was a private moment.

HOLLIDAY: And it should be a private moment.

KURTZ: Yes, I agree. I mean, somebody was out to get Lawrence. Finally, tomorrow, Megyn Kelly, my former colleague at Fox, very great television talent, debuts on the third hour of the "Today Show." Here's a little bit of the promo showing how Megyn -- this is something about the things she does that drives her family crazy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGYN KELLY, JOURNALIST: Number one for sure, I'm late. I am late for everything. The only thing I am not late for is my show. And that's really because I have no choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: So, Megyn is known as a tough interviewer. But, Shelby, how will she do in the morning format softer, more (INAUDIBLE) with a larger female audience?

HOLLIDAY: That's a big question and pressure is on, for sure, but I will say I caught a clip of her on Ellen (ph) last week. She was drinking wine in a sumo wrestler fat suit, and if a woman can, you know, moderate a presidential debate and have some fun with Ellen (ph) in a huge fat sump suit, I think she is set up for success. Chances are pretty good.

KURTZ: Well, having a sense of humor is really important in television especially in the morning. Shelby Holliday, thanks very much for joining us. Great to see you.

HOLLIDAY: Thanks, Howard.

KURTZ: Coming up, Facebook gets drawn into the Robert Mueller investigation for selling ads to phony Russian groups. Why can't the social network control its content?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: Facebook is getting buried under an avalanche of bad press after blatantly agreeing to give Congress what it's already turned over to Robert Mueller. Ads placed by bogus front groups as part of an alleged Russian operation to influence the election. Mark Zuckerberg responded on Facebook Live.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: We are committed to rising to the occasion. Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We will continue working with the government to understand the full extent of Russian interference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Joining us now, Shana Glenzer, a technology analyst here in Washington, and in Chicago, Carley Shimkus, reporter for Fox News Headlines
24/7 on SiriusXM. Shana, how does Facebook justify selling all these ads to these bogus Russian front groups with (INAUDIBLE). They're mostly pro- Trump, anti-Hillary and then initially resisting turning this over to Congress.

SHANA GLENZER, TECHNOLOGY ANALYST: Facebook has a huge problem here. I mean, it continues to be vulnerable to nefarious uses of its platform that it's not anticipating. In this case, the illegitimate Russian organizations, hijacking the news of its really powerful advertising platform, you know, and (INAUDIBLE) thinking, this was a company started by a college student looking to meet girls and they really never put in place the controls to keep these bad actors out and we are seeing this yet again here.

KURTZ: Yes, and that's the problem. And Carley, this comes just days after the other Facebook problem, which was revelation by an investigation by their media group, ProPublica, which spent 30 hours on ads to show that they are helping neo-Nazi groups target people interested in such topics as Jew haters, how to burn Jews, why Jews ruined the world. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook said that was a failure.

CARLEY SHIMKUS, REPORTER, FOX NEWS HEADLINES 24/7 ON SIRIUSXM: She said that was failure and she also said that they're going to now hire more people to fix the issue. And that is something that they say every time there is an issue.

KURTZ: Exactly.

SHIMKUS: Here's a suggestion. Don't only rely on machines. It doesn't work. Hire more people. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways and they haven't figured that that out just yet.

KURTZ: Right, and this comes up again and again, Shana, because Facebook has also published plenty of fake news during the campaign by which I mean, you know, deliberate lying propaganda by these shadowy groups and again, well, you know, it's an algorithm, we can't always control it, always sort of playing catch up with the fact that there is a lot of garbage that gets posted on this huge site.

GLENZER: There is a lot of garbage with the "New York Times" column this week and columnist asserted that if they (INAUDIBLE) Frankenstein's monster moment where they've created this powerful machine and they continue to have this (INAUDIBLE) optimistic culture that, you know, it's going to be used for good but it continues to be used by malevolent individuals that are looking to exploit it.

KURTZ: I'm not buying the Frankenstein analogy because that suggests that it's just beyond the human capability to control this. What really is this is the company's overriding principle has been to make money. All of this stuff that comes in and like, oh, well, it's a platform for everybody and let's just keep the cash registers ringing.

GLENZER: Yes and I think that's -- go ahead Carley.

SHIMKUS: Oh, I'm so sorry. Well, I just did want to say something about the money aspect of this whole thing. And one of the reasons Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook executives may not have been so willing to comply to give or comply with Congress in giving the all these ads over to them initially is because the last thing that Facebook wants is government regulation of their ads.

Last year they made $28 billion in almost all exclusively ad revenue alone.
They want as many people to buy as many ads as possible. So the bottom line, the dollar is the big thing that is coming into play in this instance as well.

KURTZ: It's a great point Carley but by repeatedly failing to police and keep stuff out that's either fake, that's Russian propaganda, Facebook is inviting some politicians to say we have to have some government regulation of this giant company. And Shana, here's the thing, I mean Mark Zuckerberg has always maintained this fiction, this polite fiction of we're not a media company. We're just a social platform and we provide tools, everything is decided by algorithms.

And it's one of the most powerful media companies on Earth or other media companies trying to get their content on it. And it seems the bottomline is he doesn't take responsible or he's only starting to take responsibility for the content.

GLENZER: I think you did see him starting responsibility this week in that video where he looks like a young politician in that video.

KURTZ: Somebody who might want to run for office.

GLENZER: Yes. But you saw him, you know, do this about face because it's one thing to justify standing up for users' privacy like you've seen from Apple in the past. There's another thing to justify, you know, a business case that makes you billions of dollars. And so, that was I think the first step in trying to (INAUDIBLE) some of the calls for regulations. And I think you might see more from him in terms of these live videos in the weeks to come.

KURTZ: Right. And Carley, you know, Facebook's whole popularity depends on lots and lots of people feeling comfortable using them, it's because of more polarizing plays given the fact that what's going on in American politics, but how much of this is giving Facebook a black eye? I mean, is it in the point now which it's caught up in the Mueller investigation and it's impossible to ignore.

SHIMKUS: Yes. Certainly, one of the big questions with this whole Mueller investigation and the new Russian-linked ad revelation is did it actually affect the election? And it doesn't look like it did. Spending $100,000 on
3,000 ads over the course of two years actually isn't a whole lot of money.
But at the same time there were reports that a Russian-linked group created Facebook invitations to anti-Clinton rallies that people actually went to so you're right (INAUDIBLE).

KURTZ: Yes, I got to wrap it up. That's a fair point but that's all that we actually know about at this point. Carley Shimkus, Shana Glenzer here in D.C. Thanks very much for joining us.

SHIMKUS: Thanks a lot.

KURTZ: I think Mark Zuckerberg is going to like this segment. Coming up, more on the president going head to head against the NFL and the NBA.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: This is a Fox News alert. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin telling CBS Sport his team will not participate in the national anthem during today's game in Chicago will not be on the field. And that sets up our next segment, very likely with the president sort of going to war with the NFL and the NBA. Joining us now, Cheryl Chumley, online opinion editor at the "Washington Times" and Francesca Chambers, White House correspondent for Daily Mail.com.

Cheryl, is President Trump tackling a great incisive issue here about sports and protest and privilege or giving is he just giving the media a great bench clearing brawl?

CHERYL CHUMLEY, ONLINE OPINION EDITOR, WASHINGTON TIMES: He's tackling a patriotic issue which, you know, if you followed Trump on the campaign trail, this is what he was all about. Make America great again. America is number one. And in so far as how the media is reporting on it, I think they're forgetting that that's the angle that is really crucial about what the NFL players are doing right now.

KURTZ: The media or many organizations, Francesca, framing this as a racially charged controversy, having imposed (ph) as Trump goes after black athletes. Chris Cillizza of CNN, playing with racial animus. Chris Wallace asked on Fox News Sunday why he was opening up racial wounds. Is the proper framing here or is it (INAUDIBLE) just a racial question?

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, DAILY MAIL.COM: Well, it's so difficult as a journalist to discuss a lot of these issues when they do touch on racial sensitivities as you know, Howard, because we're not stenographers. It's our job to put these into context. So, you have a president that has a history of making comments on racially sensitive topics.

We all remember Charlottesville and the white supremacist very fine people on both sides then you -- when it comes to the black football players who are kneeling, he called them a word that we won't be able to say on this show.

KURTZ: S.O.B.

CHAMBERS: Sure, S.O.B., and so as journalist, you have to decide which context to put it in. But I want to say in response to what you're saying that it is, the White House was on several television show this morning saying that this is just about patriotism. This is just about the American flag, and it's really important to include that context as well of what the president in the White House think this is about what.

KURTZ: But many journalists may not see it that way. But the president is clearly tapping into resentment among a lot of sports fans and others until these multimillion dollar athletes who they think should be playing instead of protesting.

CHUMLEY: Well, I just want to take a little bit of disagreement with what you said. First off, I think it is fairly simple for journalist to look at this issue in a light that isn't covering it just from the day to day rapid
(ph) reaction. First off, Trump didn't call anyone an S.O.B. He came out and said what if the coaches called these players S.O.B's. And I think --

KURTZ: There's a fine distinction.

CHUMLEY: It is a fine distinction but there's a difference between truth and not truth. And I think as journalists we are in the business of reporting truth as we see it down the line. And as far as what journalists can do to flesh out this issue a bit, you know, we could all go back and put this in a better context.

We could look way back at the Ferguson protests where the old hands up, don't shoot movement came from, which was largely on a lie that led to NFL players putting their hands up and saying don't shoot on the field and from there sprung the whole Black Lives Matter movement.

KURTZ: It was a lie perpetuated by the media but let me get back --

CHAMBERS: Right, sure. I'm just going to say it is our responsibility as journalists though to show all the sides on an issue and explain all the voices. You have the president who has said that this was about the flag, this was about disrespect for our military and the flag.

Then you also have the protesters who are saying that's not or the players said -- the players using these protests, they're not trying to disrespect the flag, they're not trying to disrespect veterans. They will even --

KURTZ: Yes, that's the debate. But let me throw this in because in the case of Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, he said he wasn't sure he wanted to go to the White House for the typical championship visit and the president was answering back to him. In the case of ESPN's Jemele Hill, she called the president a white supremacist and other things and he responded.
So, the president is not always throwing the first punch here.

CHAMBERS: And that's another comment that the White House made today, that it was Steph Curry who started this debate -- who started this discussion, but then that morphed into a conversation about whether or not it is appropriate for the president of the United States or the White House for that matter to be saying these are fireable offenses or to be saying that people should be fired or suspended --

KURTZ: Very briefly, is this about President Trump always needing a new enemy and the media always needing a new juicy story?

CHUMLEY: No, it's not. It's not at all. The media may paint it that way but this is about President Donald Trump taking a stand for America, for veterans, for the patriotic Americans who elected him president against a special interest group on the football field.

KURTZ: All right, Cheryl Chumley and Francesca Chambers, thanks for a great discussion. Good to see you. And more on this highly sensitive, highly charged media topic in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he'll air a unity ad during tonight's games and the Pittsburg Penguins, the hockey champions, say they will go to the White House to meet with President Trump. We're back with Mollie Hemingway, and there are some conflicting feelings here.

It's so simple for the media to make these, you know, these ungrateful, whiney multimillionaire players who aren't respecting the flag (INAUDIBLE) the president through his defending patriotism and at the same time in this country if you do it peacefully you have a right to protest. And the media tends to sort of boil this down to the most (INAUDIBLE) expression.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, THE FEDERALIST: Right, they either do it the way you just said, whereas this whiney multimillionaires versus the president or they do it the opposite way, which is these people who are perfectly situated to make this protest against a horrible president. And neither of those narratives quite match what's actually going on.

We have a very tough situation, a very complicated situation. We have an ongoing issue with Black Lives Matter, protests against police brutality.
That itself has not been covered very well by the media. They've been a little short on facts. They have not understood how a lot of these protests have felt to a lot of people.

They simultaneously don't cover very well what it feels like for people who did feel badly about how the police are treating their communities. They also haven't done a very good job of covering people who are worried about attacks on the police community as well. We're just seeing not a lot of depth here.

KURTZ: Right. So you talked earlier about newsrooms perhaps being a little disconnected from public sentiment on this and at the same -- so you think that there's been too much for those who kind of lean left to much sympathetic coverage of these protesters, you know, what they're doing is taking the knee during the national anthem that it seems to many people to be disrespectful. But they say they are trying to send a signal using the great platform they have as TV sports stars.

HEMINGWAY: Right. The protesters want to have news created by their actions and so it helps them to have this hyped up. So I think that that part of the story has actually been covered pretty well. We know why these people are taking a knee. We know why they're having this particular approach to their protest.

What we haven't gotten good coverage of is how that protest feels to a lot of people in the stands, how it feels to a lot of people at home, and how people think about whether those protests are appropriate or inappropriate.
We also haven't had much discussion about whether those protests have merited anything good, whether there's been any good outcome as a result.

Do we see any changes in the discourse on police brutality? Have we seen increased approval for the movement that these players are taking part in?
That's also part of the story.

KURTZ: Have the media by in large fallen into the president's trap here? He wants this to be a huge story and that (INAUDIBLE) and at the same time, you know, it's almost like the sports talk radio formula of, you know, you reduce it to pro and con, are you for the Steelers, you against the Steelers or whatever.

HEMINGWAY: Right, this whole team mentality. I would encourage media to think back to Bill Clinton, his presidency. He had what we call the Sister Souljah moment where he kind of spoke against certain things that were happening in rap music. And that was treated --

KURTZ: He took on a prominent black woman and seemingly go against his base.

HEMINGWAY: And that was treated as very smart politics by the media. They generally were supportive of it. They don't quite see here that the president has crafted terms of debate that help him more than anyone else.
You are either with him or you're against the flag. You are either with him or you are against patriotism. And so, that is not a very winning side of the argument for people to take -- it's a very difficult thing when that's the position he's chosen. So, go carefully.

KURTZ: We we'll have to punt for now but I think I'm glad we had this extra time. We threw out something else to talk about this because I think this debate is going to be really hot as all the sports world gets involved for quite some time to come. Mollie Hemingway, thanks very much for doing double duty. Great to see you and we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KURTZ: Charles Payne, the Fox Business host recently returned to work after the network's lawyers investigated a claim of sexual harassment by a frequent guest. Payne has called that an ugly lie and said they had a consensual affair. Now, the woman, conservative activist Scottie Nelll Hughes has sued Fox News and Payne alleging that he pressured her into having sex against her will over a two-year period and that once the relationship ended, Fox Business blacklisted her as a guest.

Hughes said she has been living in absolute hell. Payne's lawyer says he vehemently denies the "outrageous accusations." And Fox News said in a statement, "the latest publicity stunt of a lawsuit filed by Doug Wigdor has absolutely no merit and is downright shameful. We will vigorously defend this. It's worth noting that Doug is Ms. Hughes' third representative in the last six months to raise some variation of these claims which concern events from four years ago since apparently it took some time to find someone willing to file this bogus case."

Now you may have heard about some big lineup changes here at Fox. My old friend Laura Ingraham, a major talk radio star is starting a nightly show at 10:00 eastern and that will be followed by a live 11:00 p.m. newscast.
That's a first for Fox with Shannin Bream, and those start in a few weeks, but meanwhile, Sean Hannity goes to his old timeslot, 9:00 p.m. eastern, that starts tomorrow and "The Five" appropriately enough, goes back to 5:00. Got that? Got to take notes.

That's it for this edition of "Media Buzz." I'm Howard Kurtz. I know you haven't have a lot to say about today's show particularly President Trump versus the NBA and the NFL. I can just sense it's kind of really hot topic so, write to us @mediabuzz@foxnews.com. Stick to the media. Let me know what you think n twitter @HowardKurtz. And go to our Facebook page, give us a like. We post all our videos there.

We engage in a dialogue and let us know what you think there as well. Also don't forget to DVR the show if you miss it. And we enjoyed this engagement and we did a lot of tearing up as we do in the Trump era. We love all the tweets coming through. We are back here next Sunday. See you then, 11:00 eastern with the latest buzz.

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