This is a rush transcript from "Media Buzz," October 15, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the buzz meter this Sunday, President Trump denounces NBC, even calls for scrutiny of its television license over a story allegedly he wanted a dramatic boost in the nuclear arsenal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, I never discussed increasing it. I want it in perfect shape. That was just fake news by NBC, which gives a lot of fake news lately. It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Well, I have looked into it, and you might want to start looking into it too Mr. President. Did the story or the president's response go too far? (INAUDIBLE) new even more troubling sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The editor of Hollywood Reporter is here on his interview with Weinstein's brother calling him depraved. He says more actions (INAUDIBLE) more accusations, some of them on camera like Dawn Dunning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAWN DUNNING, ACTRESS AND COSTUME DESIGNER: And so he said I have contracts for my next three films here and I will sign them today, but I want you to have a threesome with me and my assistant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: And NBC struggles to explain why it didn't air Ronan Farrow's chilly (ph) exclusive, which wind up in a major magazine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Why did you end up reporting the story for The New Yorker and not for NBC News?
RONAN FARROW, JOURNALIST: You would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details of that story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: What do journalists know about the Weinstein mess and when did they know it? Laura Ingraham, Fox News newest prime time host, joins us on Hollywood hypocrisy and beltway hypocrisy.
Plus, Trump throws the NFL for a loss, and ESPN suspends the host who called the president a white supremacist, this time for tweeting against the Dallas Cowboys. Why are some critics saying the punishment is racially motivated?
I'm Howard Kurtz and this is "Media Buzz."
First, Harvey Weinstein was fired by his own company after The New York Times reported sexual harassment allegations against him over three decades, which he denies. Then came Ronan Farrow's devastating New Yorker article in which three women on the record say the movie mogul raped them, which again he denies.
Now, more accusers are emerging just about every day, not just actresses but journalists like Lauren Sivan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAUREN SIVAN, JOURNALIST: And that's where he cornered me in this vestibule and leaned in and tried to kiss me, which I immediately rebuffed and he immediately exposed himself and, you know, began pleasuring himself and I just stood there dumbfounded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Weinstein is a major Democratic donor. It took nearly six days for Barack Obama to say he and Michelle were disgusted and quote, "any man who demeans and degrades women is such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable regardless of wealth or status."
And for Hillary Clinton to say she was shocked and appalled by Harvey Weinstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN: It's good Clinton broke her silence. Of course, it is too bad she was one of the last to do so.
KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY: I just don't understand why the day this came out, she wasn't on Twitter condemning it. It just -- it doesn't make any sense to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that the Clintons and the Obamas embrace him I think is a dark mark on their record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: The former first lady finally spoke about it publicly on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN: What was your reaction when you heard the news about Harvey Weinstein?
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I was just sick. I was shocked. I was appalled. It was something that was just intolerable in every way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Joining us now to analyze the coverage, Guy Benson, political editor of Towhall.com. Jessica Tarlov, senior director at Bustle. Both are Fox News contributors. And Erin McPike, White House correspondent for Independent Journal Review.
Fareed Zakaria didn't ask Hillary Clinton the obvious question, what took you so long?
GUY BENSON, TOWNHALL.COM: He didn't. He did ask her about giving back some of the money that she taken from Weinstein, and she said she is going to bundle that into her yearly charitable giving.
It is unclear where that would go or it's on top of her normal 10 percent as she described. I do think that there's a question for Democrats, more broadly, is the party going to divest from this tainted money from Harvey Weinstein --
KURTZ: -- pressing that question or kind of going easy on --
BENSON: Well, so the DNC put out this ridiculous charade of a policy which was they are going to give away 10 percent of it to groups devoted to electing Democrats which is basically the DNC.
And they got some positive headlines for it saying, oh, they're giving away the money. If the media is that easily fooled, then shame on them. There should be more pressure on that front.
KURTZ: Jessica, I'm glad that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are now speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion they will be overcautious because Weinstein is not just a big- time Democratic donor, he threw fundraisers for them.
JESSICA TARLOV, BUSTLE: Yes, absolutely. The actual cash amount that came directly from Harvey Weinstein was quite minimal comparatively, but he certainly has been a great friend of the Democratic Party and liberal causes. I mean, even his first ridiculous letter said I'm going to focus my attention now on the NRA. Like they (ph) said, you know, we want him with us in any way whatsoever.
To a larger point here, I think that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were late to the game. And I think that more the issue is not what we're going to do with the money, but what are we going to do actually with the ideology because I believe strongly in the values of the Democratic Party and being champions of women.
I believe our policies are better for women across the board. And if we are not the first to fire on issues like this, I think that it is hard for us to stand up there and say that.
KURTZ: Republicans are sometimes reluctant when a conservative gets into this type of trouble, but Harvey Weinstein of course was kicked out of the Academy Awards yesterday, should cut across partisan lines, right?
ERIN MCPIKE, INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW: Yes, it absolutely should know -- I don't think six days is all that long, but I do know that people who tend to defend Clinton on television, on Twitter, in the press, were waiting for a response and were kind of frustrated that the Clinton team wasn't giving them one --
KURTZ: There were stories about when is Hillary is going to speak about this. If it had been some big Republican donor, you would've taken six minutes or six hours at the most. MCPIKE: Look, that's true, but Hillary Clinton is no longer running for president and people do want her to go away --
MCPIKE: -- and President Obama is no longer president.
KURTZ: All right, but she is on a book tour. All right. How does NBC like Ronan Farrow who got a number of women went to go on the record, three of them accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape, which again he denies anything non- consensual. Farrow is a special correspondent with NBC, former MSNBC host. How do you let him walk away with that scoop?
BENSON: So, as a disclosure, I'm friends with Ronan and I thought that he gathered based on just what we know publicly. He gathered a lot of factual reportable information on this story over many months. Eight women on the record. The push back he got internally from NBC is shocking and we've seen the drips and drabs coming out from within the building.
People angry at NBC, at their own network, for basically giving up the scoop and chasing him off to The New Yorker, which has very high editorial standards.
BENSON: They ran the piece. So I think this looks terrible for NBC News and I do want to very quickly give some credit to Rachel Maddow, which I don't often do. You played the clip at the top of the show. She asked him and pressed him on that issue, on an NBC-owned network.
BENSON: Good for her.
KURTZ: It was the elephant in the room, and she didn't let it go. I just want to play for you, Jessica, one piece of audio tape. This is something Ronan Farrow had months ago because there's some dispute about how many women did he have on the record. At the time, he was still doing (INAUDIBLE) for NBC.
So this is Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, a model who two years ago had said that she was groped by Harvey Weinstein the day before. She wore a wire in a New York police sting (ph). Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY WEINSTEIN, FILM PRODUCER (voice-over): Please come in now. And one minute. And if you want to leave when the guy comes with my jacket, you can go.
AMBRA BATTILAN GUTIERREZ, MODEL (voice-over): Why yesterday you touched my breast?
WEINSTEIN (voice-over): Oh, please, I'm sorry. You just come on in, I'm used to that. Come on. Please.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): You're used to that?
WEINSTEIN (voice-over): Yes, come in.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): No, but I'm not used to that.
WEINSTEIN (voice-over): I won't do it again, come on, sit here. Sit here for a minute, please?
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): No, I don't want to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: He admits the groping on the tape. How is that by itself not a story for NBC?
TARLOV: I don't know and I don't know what (INAUDIBLE) was thinking either when he declines a prosecutor --
TARLOV: -- but adding on to what Guy was talking about, NBC also got scoop on the "Access Hollywood" tape because they waited on this --
KURTZ: Which they own, right?
TARLOV: Right. So clearly there are some problems there at the top at NBC with their decision, you know, to not go forward with these huge stories and stories that American people need to hear about, whether it's the president of the United States of America or someone who is running Hollywood. MCPIKE: I worked at both NBC and CNN, both of their news departments. The "Access Hollywood" tape -- I don't know that we can say that the actual news department knew of the "Access Hollywood" tape. I think that's up for debate. But, look, networks kill stories all of the time. It is frustrating at every network.
CNN does not have a leg to stand on to go after NBC for not running that story. And my suspicion is that it has a lot more to do with the fact that they thought oh, Ronan Farrow grew up in Hollywood and he is young, and they probably wanted to make him a star, but didn't necessarily believe in his journalistic chops. There's a lot of that that could have been going on.
KURTZ: Why do you say --
TARLOV: Ronan Farrow said that he had to go out and spend his own money to do some of this meeting for a crew because NBC wouldn't support him. Don't hire him in the first place if you don't think he has the chops to do it.
KURTZ: That's the reason why you said CNN doesn't have a leg to stand.
MCPIKE: Because I know they kill stories. I've seen it happen.
KURTZ: All right. We'll have to come back to that. In fairness, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim told his staff and the network put this out, that it was offensive anyone would think NBC was covering up for a powerful person and that in his view, Ronan Farrow's story wasn't ready for prime time at the time he was dealing with NBC.
But of course, weeks later, this incredibly well-documented piece shows up in The New Yorker. All right. So, do you think that too many journalists have perpetuated the myth of Harvey Weinstein, the mighty movie mogul, the guy who makes stars, the guy who wins Oscars while basically looking away from conduct that we're hearing more and more was an open secret in New York and Hollywood? BENSON: Yes, and you know, one element of the story that I've been fascinated by is the late-night comedians who jumped all over stories about -- oh, I don't know, people at our network who got into trouble along these lines and --
KURTZ: Against Trump regularly.
BENSON: And Trump regularly. So, look, this is obviously harassment problem, not just in Hollywood, but elsewhere. It's the gusto and the immediacy with which some of these people went after in the media and in comedy after some targets, but not others.
Some of the excuses now from Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers explaining why they pulled their punches, to me, do not hold water at all. And I think there's some human nature here, going after friends and going after people who are powerful in your orbit is difficult. That's the truth to power -- KURTZ: By the way, NBC has business relationships with NBC Universal Pictures and with Weinstein Company and that sort of thing. Now, it is hard though to nail down and document these kinds of things, were talking two people in the room.
And I'm not being critical in any way of the women, particularly those who were young aspiring actresses for not speaking out, but you have to have people who are willing to go on the record before you can report these kind of assault (ph) charges.
TARLOV: Right. That's why everyone on both sides of aisle should be praising these women who did find the courage to do that. And yes, it took some of them a few years to make sure that they had established their careers and they had a leg to stand on to do it.
The audio came out from Courtney Love back in 2005, saying don't work for Harvey Weinstein, this was going to happen to you, and CAA banned her, a lifetime ban.
So when people blame the women and I have been on other panels about this where my opponent has come out and said, these women knew, Meryl Streep knew, Jane Fonda knew a year ago, don't you dare talk about those women and put them down for what they did when we see what happened to Courtney Love.
KURTZ: And this sets up my question to you, which is, New York Times columnist Jim Rutenberg wrote about this, that this is a network with very aggressive public relations, people and lawyers who guard the secrets of those who they work for, and that they keep the stuff out of public view and only major news organizations, New York Times, New Yorker, which have the lawyers can take this on. MCPIKE: Well, that's right, and look, a lot of very wealthy entities or people, when they foresee a crisis happening will bring on a public relations firm so that they can fend off that sort of thing, which obviously we know happened with Harvey Weinstein before he was trying to stop The New York Times story.
KURTZ: Yes. And by the way, Harvey Weinstein on the cover of Time magazine looking like a villain which is pretty much how he's been cast. Producer, predator, pariah. "Media Buzz" at FoxNews.com, if you want to write to us.
Ahead, President Trump is talking about pulling TV licenses from offending networks except it doesn't quite work that way. When we come back, more on the Harvey Weinstein ugliness with the editor of Hollywood Reporter on his latest exclusive.
KURTZ: Many movie stars speaking out now. More than 30 women have made harassment or assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein including Dawn Dunning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNNING: So at that point, I fled from the room. I was scared at that point because he is a very domineering man and, sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: How much do people in Hollywood and the media know about Weinstein's aberrant behavior? Joining us now from Las Angeles is Matt Belloni, editor of the Hollywood Reporter.
Let's start with your remarkable interview with Bob Weinstein published yesterday in which he said his brother, Harvey, is depraved, that he's going through a waking nightmare, that he barely talk for the last five years, that he knew his brother was philandering but not coercing, and then he himself was physically assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.
How do you know that this isn't in part spin distancing himself from this disaster?
MATTHEW BELLONI, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: We don't. I mean, obviously the big question, the first question I asked him was, he's your brother, how in the world could this have gone on without you knowing.
And, you know, he's making a distinction, believe him or not, between what everyone in the company knew, which was that he was a philanderer, he was traveling around the world, trying to sleep with women at all times of the day, but they weren't in the room with him, they say, so they don't know what actually happened in that room.
KURTZ: Right. Bob Weinstein --
BELLONI: And, you know, you have to believe him or not.
KURTZ: Yes, and Bob Weinstein telling you, when they had a physical altercation, this was a defining moment of cowardice for me, on my part, and apparently was a very emotional interview. Let me ask you also, Harvey Weinstein, well-known, more journalists speaking of this now, very difficult for journalist to deal with. How did your last call with him go?
BELLONI: Well, I would speak with Harvey every once in a while, sort of par for the course in my job, and he was often threatening, sometimes charming.
My last interaction with him after the Canned Film Festival, we had an item about how the police had accosted him outside of a party, he was late, and he sort of passive aggressively insinuated that he could buy my magazine and replace me as editor.
It was one of those like, you know, Harvey -- you kind of -- are taken aback and like, did you just threaten to buy my magazine and have me fired? But that was the way he operated.
KURTZ: That doesn't sound passive, that sounds aggressive. So, how this question is now swirling about? How many journalists knew, suspected, heard rumors in your town, in your circle, at the Hollywood Reporter, that Harvey Weinstein was a sexual predator?
BELLONI: I think that's a difficult question because you are asking what do we know, what do we know? We heard the stories, we investigated it. In fact, about two years ago, we actually put a team of people on trying to find people who would tell us on the record what had happened to them.
We even had a big white board in the news room with all the different people who had worked at Miramax, in the Weinstein Company. We had a list of actresses with stories that kind of floated around Hollywood.
We tried to confirm it on the record as many, many, many outlets did. And it wasn't until this breakthrough in The New York Times where actresses came forward and spoke on the record that the floodgate is opened.
KURTZ: Right. We were saying a moment ago that without those on the record testimonies, it's very difficult to publish these kinds of accusations.
But after cases that we have now all been through following Bill Cosby, Roger Aisles, Bill O'Reilly, all the Silicon Valley companies, do you think the climate has changed from the media in reporting on this and perhaps also made it easier for women who were traumatized by this, even got out of business because of Harvey, to speak on the record?
BELLONI: I definitely think the culture has changed and because of the examples you cited, that more women are feeling more comfortable to come forward. It certainly a risky thing to do, it's a brave thing to do, and there are potential repercussions for women who do it. The Courtney Love story is heartbreaking.
But, it is a change in the culture that has happened, I think, and we would not have these women coming forward about Harvey Weinstein had the others not come before it. As far as the media goes, you know, it's still a risky proposition to level accusations at a powerful figure, but I do believe that media is more likely to do these stories because of the place we are in the culture right now. KURTZ: All right. Matt Belloni, I guess you get to keep your job with Harvey Weinstein banners now. Thanks very much for joining us from L.A.
BELLONI: Thank you.
KURTZ: Ahead, Laura Ingraham on the president, the press, and populism. Up next, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks to reporters and throws a few jabs.
KURTZ: The media had been saying that John Kelly, the president's new chief of staff, is growing frustrated in his job and the general who walked into the press room the other day to respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It is astounding to me how much is misreported. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them, but I would just offer to you the advice, I'd say, maybe develop some better sources.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Get better sources. Guy Benson, so, here's John Kelly saying basically I'm sick of these leaks. You guys know what he's talking about. He does that with some sense of aura of military command.
BENSON: Yes, and it's effective. If I were advising the White House, generally, I would advise him to do more of this, because we get all these stories weekly, at least daily often on palace intrigue, and who's frustrated and who's on the brink of being out or whatever?
And a lot of the times there's bad information, according to Kelly, the fact that they sent him out directly to respond in person and then answer a bunch of questions, giving new information to the press, I think it diffused a lot of it. He commands the room. I would love to see more of him and more top principals within the administration face the press frequently.
MCPIKE: Can I just agree, that was a success. We can declare that White House press briefing a success because they did what they set out to do which is shut down all of those rumors. So I agree with you they should do that more often, but also I would say he did note in that briefing that he has done three off the records and some of the reporters in the room had violated the terms of those off the records meetings.
What I would say is they don't put out a number of these principles as often as they should, but they do have very high-level principles doing off the record meetings all the time. And I would venture to say probably more than in the Obama administration was doing this early.
KURTZ: There are other senior administration officials who have told me that they're also very frustrated by these leaks which often make the president look like he doesn't know what he's doing and makes various functions look go. But look, just because General Kelly comes out and says the stories are untrue doesn't mean he's not frustrated in his job, for example, with the president's tweets, he's a good soldier.
TARLOV: Yes, absolutely. And so I would halfway agree with the two of you about this. I think it was certainly a success and that you watch General John Kelly and you believe him and you believe in his service to this country which he is continuing now and being part of this administration, a role that I don't think he certainly takes lightly or one that I don't think that he wanted in the first place.
There was a political piece a little while ago about he doesn't talk to former chief of staff. He's the first one actually who is not part of that club. He wants to go about his business and get an incredibly tough job done.
I think that what happened was just similar to what happened with Tillerson last week after the maybe moron comment, this morning I think was totally a moron comment, from what he said on the Sunday morning show, is that the president of the United States marches these guys out there and make something for their supper.
BENSON: Oh, come on now. The idea that John Kelly is going to be bullied by anyone, even if it's the president, into going out and lying --
TARLOV: You don't think -- oh, no, I don't -- no, I said I think that he was telling the truth about it and I agree with Howie's point, he's certainly frustrated, and I think that that comes through, frustrated with the press and the leaks.
But you don't think that President Trump said to his chief of staff, hey, everyone saying that you hate it here and that you're gonna quit, maybe you could go out there and do a press conference, I'd really appreciate it. And he's the best soldier.
KURTZ: All right. That's different.
TARLOV: It's reported that the president did suggest him to do that, just like with Tillerson.
KURTZ: I'm going to get frustrated if you guys don't stop because I got to get a break.
KURTZ: You know, somebody is feeding the press these leaks, whether it is fully accurate or not is another question. All right. Next on "Media Buzz," Lauren Ingraham on Harvey Weinstein, whether the GOP is breaking apart, and a few words about her new show here at Fox. Later, the president accuses NBC of pure fiction and the network stands its ground.
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIA BUZZ SHOW HOST: With an explosion of news from the Harvey Weinstein mess to the president's escalating attacks on the press, I sat down with Laura Ingraham who is launching a prime time show called the "Ingraham Angle" here at Fox and is the author of the new book "Billionaire at the Barricades: Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump."
KURTZ: Laura Ingraham, welcome.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you.
KURTZ: With the absolutely disgusting allegations coming out now by Harvey Weinstein, how much of an open secret was these in the media and movie world and did you know about it?
INGRAHAM: I had heard about it when I was at the Sundance Film Festival, I think covering it, the year I recovered it, I believe it was the same year covered it for MSNBC where used to work. I was doing like a standup piece, interviewed a bunch of celebrities. A couple of friends of mine were in the movie business and they mentioned -- I didn't even know who he was to tell you the truth.
But they said this guy, his name was Harvey and it's like, he raped this girl. It stuck in my mind, but years later I remembered and I thought it's kind of interesting. Then when this started coming out I thought, OK, then I started to -- something happened at the Sundance Film Festival, and so it was weird. I just happened to be there.
KURTZ: If you knew about it.
INGRAHAM: I knew about it. I wasn't even in the industry and I knew about it. I think, you know, frankly a lot of these actors and actresses that are coming forward saying this is horrible, this is disgusting, they were making jokes about it on "30 Rock." They were making reference, oblique reference to it at the Oscars with their little off hand Harvey comment.
KURTZ: So everyone's funny.
INGRAHAM: Tee hee, ha, ha. Young lives were destroyed, careers were ruined, Rose McGowan was never the same afterwards and there are many other stories like that and not just at the hands of Weinstein. This happened across every industry, it happens both to women and men.
Young men have been subjected to this. I saw on twitter the other day that some say he's kind of like a mob boss. He has a lot of capos who protect him and he has a lot of people bought off and afraid.
INGRAHAM: And that's kind of what happened.
KURTZ: Another big press story this past week has been the president slamming little Bob Corker on twitter, you know, Corker coming back and saying Trump is leading us on a path to World War III. So now you have a Republican president and a Republican senate foreign relations chairman in this war of words. Is this overplayed or is it an important story?
INGRAHAM: I think it's entirely predictable. Bob Corker was never comfortable with Donald Trump. He didn't want Trump to win. I like Corker as a person, I think he's a nice guy, but he's not a Trump guy. I mean, he's more of a Bush Republican and that's fine. A Bush Republican didn't win in November, it was soundly defeated. It's defeated in Florida, in Texas, in Michigan and all over the country.
KURTZ: Whether you're a Trump guy or not, it doesn't make it any less newsworthy because it is unusual since they both happen to be on the same party that has gotten to this level.
INGRAHAM: Well, yes. Well the problem is, if he decides to go into the White House, asked Donald Trump to support his candidacy, I think Donald Trump said I'll do it, I'll help you. And then he goes, you know, running in media interviews and basically is maligning the president. Back and forth, you know, it's not what I would do.
INGRAHAM: But this is not the story. The story is which path is the right path for the country. Should we do the same kind of policies that got us into this foreign policy situation with Iran, with the Middle East, military intervention, the rise of China, North Korea? Donald Trump didn't get us into this problem. He is trying to get us out. So, I understand the old foreign policy establishment is very uncomfortable but Trump won in November and they did not.
KURTZ: A lot of that is in "Billionaire at the Barricades" including something of immigration. Are you generally supportive of President Trump?
KURTZ: You spoke at his convention but when he didn't push for immediate funding of the border wall, you tweeted build the wall, build wall or maybe not really.
KURTZ: So, there are times when you differ with this president.
INGRAHAM: Yes. I differ with him on that. I didn't love the way the travel ban was rolled out. They obviously made a mistake with that. They had to redo it. Ultimately, the court just decided not to take the case on (INAUDIBLE) so that's going to stand now.
KURTZ: Is it more effective for you to differ with him to send a message by saying it to the television camera as opposed to talking to him privately?
INGRAHAM: I don't know. I really don't know. I speak my mind. I did it with George W. Bush. I really liked him. I campaigned for him and we had a real break at the end. I had a break with the Bushes because of amnesty, because of Harriet Miers and a lot of other things.
My allegiance is to this populist conservative agenda that he ran on, successfully, and if he continues to advance it and push for it, the voters are going to reward him. And if this economy continues to grow, which he does not get any credit for, continues to grow, that he's going to be in good shape in 2020.
KURTZ: Then why did so many of your fellow conservative commentators oppose Donald Trump in the campaign and so many of them remain opposed to President Trump?
INGRAHAM: They're not populist. They're elitist, the globalist, a lot of them. They were in the Reagan coalition because we had to defeat the Soviet Union and I think that Soviet threat in Reagan's own charm and experience as governor of California, he was able to hold it all together, the populist, the social conservatives, the fiscal hawks, the defense --
KURTZ: I want to leave a little time to talk about the "Ingraham Angle" which debuts on October 30th here at Fox, 10 p.m. eastern. You've been saying that your show is going to be different.
INGRAHAM: Politics and the rest of life. Politics is --
KURTZ: The rest of life, that's included.
INGRAHAM: Yes, well, a little other thing. A lot that happens throughout the day that I think because of the Russia -- of the political news cycle, we might not cover as in depth as I'm trying to do on this new show. So, everything from parenting to Hollywood to the social pressure that young kids are under today to the internet, constant presence of screens in our lives. There's a lot to discuss to what's happening to the understanding of gender and gender bending, what does that do to our understanding of human relationship.
Well, there's a lot to discuss. Some of it is left and right, some of it is not. I think we have an obligation to cover everything. I'm going to try to do it from all angles. I'm a conservative, I always will be.
KURTZ: Right, but (INAUDIBLE) debate is getting a little tougher (ph).
INGRAHAM: Yes. And I'm going to bring on different voices on these topics. We have a lot of great people at Fox that we're going to hear from, but there are new voices out there. They are young people that have a lot to. There is inspiring stories, infuriating stories. We're going to try to hit all of them. And also make people laugh every now and then, Howie.
KURTZ: That would be great. By the way, you have a primetime T.V. show and you have a daily syndicated radio show, you're a single mother with three kids, do you not require much sleep?
INGRAHAM: I don't sleep much. I got to sleep more and apparently according to Sean Hannity, I have to learn how to nap, which my mother never got me to do but I guess I'm going to have to learn to do that.
KURTZ: Power naps, the secret to successful promising (ph) career. Laura Ingraham, good to see you.
INGRAHAM: Thanks Howie. Good to see you.
KURTZ: Good luck with the shoe.
KURTZ: I'll learn how to nap. Ahead on "Media Buzz," ESPN suspends its most controversial host but not for calling President Trump a white supremacist. But first, Trump says it's a disgrace that journalists can write whatever they want. Is that right?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: These are very, very dishonest people. In many cases, in many cases, I call it fake media. It's fake. It's so much fake news.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Do you agree with that, fake news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: President Trump is showing how (INAUDIBLE) has escalated his attacks on the press and now suggesting government action may be needed. Well, NBC reported he has asked top advisers for a tenfold increase in the nuclear arsenal, he called it pure fiction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESTR HOLT, NBC NEWS: The president dismissed our reporting saying it's not true and that our sources are made up. Our sources however do exist. In fact, three of them were in the room when the president talked about dramatically increasing the number of U.S. nukes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: And here's what the president tweeted, "Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that license must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to the public!"
We're back with the panel. Guy, it happens to be a fact that the FCC doesn't regulate national networks, only local stations, and even there it's supposed to be (INAUDIBLE) community service, not news content. What do you make of President Trump going there?
GUY BENSON, TOWNHALL.COM: So, as we exhibited on this show just a few minutes ago, NBC and other networks are not above serious criticism, and sometimes really maybe bashing sometimes.
BENSON: I'm totally --
KURTZ: You have every right to go after any news organization or story he wants but.
BENSON: Exactly. And to challenge the stories and to go after their veracity, taking it the next step talking about licensing and this sort of vague news threats about shutting down speech that you don't like is off- base, over the top and wrong.
And I would just point out, if you're agreeing with him now and you're a conservative, recall the reaction at this network when President Obama's administration tried to marginalize Fox. There was (INAUDIBLE) and elsewhere. That was right. This is a step further from Trump and it's wrong.
KURTZ: Right, but maybe the president wasn't that actually serious about T.V. licenses. This is his way of venting when he gets mad at the media.
JESSICA TARLOV, BUSTLE: Yes, but he's president of the United States of America and people listen to him and they believe him, even when he lies. I mean, when you hear the chanting ant the like, (INAUDIBLE) in that interview alone, you know how Trump's base feels about him. You know that they think that Hillary Clinton lied about everything and Donald Trump told the truth about everything even though we know that the facts do not bear that out.
And it's extremely dangerous. It's a very authoritarian talk, dictator talk. Guy and I have spoken about this a million times that, you know, he doesn't seem to have a strong conception of what the first amendment really means.
KURTZ: And speaking of the First Amendment, that quote from the president, it's disgraceful that the press can write whatever they want, well, sometimes it is disgraceful what the press writes but it doesn't mean they don't have the right to do it.
ERIN MCPIKE, INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW: They do. It's the First Amendment. But just venting is becoming a really big problem. Some of the stories that have come out since have shown, well, we know from the stock market and the fact that that the three companies that own the broadcast network actually lost a little bit of value after he made that comment.
The other thing I would point out is that Tom Wheeler, who was a FCC commissioner under President Obama, said that it could also be taken as instruction to supporters who could act on his behalf. In other words, the conservative groups could challenge the licenses of some of the local network because of what Trump is saying.
KURTZ: Local stations owned by (INAUDIBLE).
MCPIKE: So, venting is a problem.
KURTZ: All right. Let me just move on because I want to get to the Iran situation. The "Washington Post" reports the other day that (INAUDIBLE) sources that the president was livid and he threw a fit with top advisers who told him that he should accept the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under Obama.
So they came up with this plan where he decertified it as he did on Friday but didn't derail it, Congress can act, and the press kind of hammered Trump about it. Those kinds of inside stories are always seemed designed to make the president look bad.
BENSON: Yes, the press hammered him for this sort of like every day.
BENSON: You know, dog bites man, press hammers Trump, they always do it. I think the balance of the administration has reached on this issue is a smart one, it's good. And yet the president would be mad that his advisers are saying keep the deal that he called the worst deal ever repeatedly on the campaign trail. Of course that would frustrate him. They seem to have found a middle ground and an accommodation that applies more pressure on Congress and the (INAUDIBLE).
KURTZ: It's OK for presidents to get mad sometimes. A lot of these stories sort of portray him as a hothead.
TARLOV: This one never seems happy --
KURTZ: OK, but you tell me another president, whatever you think about the Iran deal or anything else who's had so many sensitive meetings and even conversations with foreign leaders leaked to the press by people who (INAUDIBLE) to believe work for him.
TARLOV: Absolutely not and I have gone after this a number of times. It's unprecedented and it's dangerous to our national security. Everyone knows that I have a lot of problems with President Trump, his policies and the way that he conducts himself. But he is the president of the United States of America and we need to protect him in that way.
I do think, I've actually never said this, but I agreed with Steve Bannon in his interview with Charlie Rose where he said that he disagreed with the president. He resigned before you go on T.V. and ridicule and what happened with Gary Cohn about the Charlottesville comment. Sorry.
KURTZ: Let me just get Erin here on this last point which is the president also halting key Obamcare subsidies and now part of media is referring is, well, he's only doing this to destroy Barack Obama's legacy. Chris Matthews said he was doing it out of spite. Maybe this is what he believes.
MCPIKE: It clearly is what he believes but when you're not fixing the problem and instead you're making it worse then it's clear that he's just trying to maintain a campaign --
KURTZ: Wait, that's a political judgment on your part, that he's making it worse.
MCPIKE: Well, I think that's been very clear.
MCPIKE: There are a lot of Republicans sort of saying that he's making it worse.
BENSON: There's also a court ruling here. The media is missing the vote. They're talking about political motivations and what he wants to do to Obama. A federal court said it's unconstitutional and illegal. What choice does he have but to stop these illegal payments?
KURTZ: And I have no choice but to stop the segment. That's a good point. Guy Benson, Jessica Tarlov --
TARLOV: Thank you so much for having us.
KURTZ: -- Erin McPike, thank you for being here. After the break, the NFL gives ground on their pressure from the president and despite the pundits who call the issue a loser.
KURTZ: When Jemele Hill, the co-host of ESPN's "Sportscenter" called President Trump a white supremacist and bigot, the network did not nothing other than saying, well, it's inappropriate. But after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he'd bench any player who doesn't stand for the anthem, Hill tweeted that he was hurting his players especially black players and suggested stop watching and buying their merchandise and if you feel strongly about Jerry Jones' statement, boycott his advertisers.
ESPN suspended her over two weeks saying this was a second violation of its social media rules. Joining us now from Atlanta, Will Leitch, senior writer for "Sports on Earth" and a contributor at "New York Magazine." And so Will, Al Sharpton was out there after Jemele Hill got benched for two weeks for essentially saying boycott the Cowboys, and he's saying this is an outrage and she has every right to speak out and we're going to stand by her. How is this racial?
WILL LEITCH, SPORTS ON EARTH: Well, first off, I can't speak to that, but I can say that the suspicion was a little bewildering. I mean she -- I know that it's kind of popular to misrepresent people's points for political gain. It's very strange to see that, but that's not actually why.
She did not say boycott the Cowboys. What she was talking about was a larger point. The idea that a lot of people are criticizing Dak Prescott, a quarterback for the Cowboys for not -- people that support that they're against Trump and support Prescott and support African-American athletes. They were saying he should deal -- why doesn't he fight Jerry Jones or like push back with his owner. What she was saying is trying to explain why it's difficult for a quarterback to do that.
KURTZ: I disagree with you. She does say stop watching and buying their merchandise, but whatever her message, what part of don't embarrass ESPN on social media she not understand. She's not just speaking for herself. She is a major ESPN host.
LEITCH: Well, it's true, but she's hired to have commentary. I know we'd love to pretend that politics and sports are separate, clearly the president doesn't feel that way. So the idea that like she's not supposed to comment on this major issue, I think ESPN is putting her and frankly other commentators there in this weird kind of straight jacket. Their job is to comment on what's going on.
What is a bigger story than the NFL right now than what's going on with the protests and what's going on with Trump? The idea that she's not supposed to comment on that or more to the point kind of guess until afterward where the line is. I think that's a pretty tough spot for her and I think it's not just a tough spot for her but I think everybody there.
KURTZ: Let me move along here. So President Trump got kicked around by many in the media for going after the NFL over protesting players. Now Roget Goodell says their players are going to have to stand for the anthem. So, fair to say the president put some points on the board?
LEITCH: I certainly think he believes he puts some points on the board. He did put some pressure on him. Goodell actually did push back against the statement and say that I think there's going to be a vote among owners this week. Goodell met with the Dolphins. They kind of talked about some of their social justice protest, but there's nothing like sort of like, there's not been actual edict yet. Now, there could be one this week --
KURTZ: Yes, but don't you think that it's just spin on the part of the NFL commissioner. When this first happened, he came out and issued a statement criticizing President Trump for pushing this issue. Now, you know, you can argue whether it's technically a rule change or not, but now, he's changed his tone at the very least.
LEITCH: I think certainly, listen, he didn't come out like hey, go protest, fight Trump in the beginning and he's not saying no one can do it. Now, listen, you're not going to find someone like me eager to defend Roger Goodell. Certainly his messaging has always been an issue for him. He never quite gets it right and I think this is a good example of him getting it wrong on both ends by not coming out strong either before or after the statement.
It's kind of wishy-washy and frankly it allows both sides to claim victory. It allows Trump to say, yes, I got it. It allows the players to say he stood up for us. It's generally kind of the muddy problem that Goodell has.
KURTZ: I've got half a minute. Do you think the media underestimated the resonance of President Trump taking on this issue with kneeling players, the way in which it would resonate with many Americans?
LEICHT: I think that they thought it was silly to be honest and I think there's clearly an idea that there should be larger issues to focus on. But yes, you know, I also think part of this is ESPN ratings are down, NFL ratings are down. I would argue these things are independent of this but it certainly makes a convenient data point for people to argue the other direction.
KURTZ: You can spike the football on that one. Will Leicht, thanks very much for joining us.
LEICHT: Thank you.
KURTZ: Still to come. Why Facebook's virtual tour of Puerto Rico turned into such a fiasco.
KURTZ: What on earth was Mark Zuckerberg thinking, promoting a Facebook app with an upbeat virtual tour of Puerto Rico where there has been death and so much destruction?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK: One of the things that's really magical about virtual reality is you can get the feeling that you are really in a place and it feels like we're really here in Puerto Rico where it's obviously a tough place to get to now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Wow. People are still fighting for their lives on the hurricane battered island, I mean, that goes beyond tone deaf to outright insensitive. Zuckerberg later apologizing, "I also wanted to share the news of our partnership with the Red Cross to help with the recovery. Reading some of the comments, I realized this wasn't clear, and I'm sorry to anyone this offended."
I'm glad Facebook has added a dislike button for this sort of thing. That's it for this edition of "Media Buzz." I'm Howard Kurtz. Glad you can join us. We hope you all check out our Facebook page, give us a like. We post a lot of original content there I respond, try to a lot of the comments and questions. Also follow me on twitter @HowardKurtz. Continue the dialogue. And if you want to e-mail us, email@example.com. Stick to the media. I'll try to look at the comments. We're be back here next Sunday. See you then, 11:00 eastern with the latest buzz.
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