This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," June 14, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the Buzz Meter here in New York this Sunday, Hillary Clinton finally gives the assembled journalists what they want, a big speech they can assess and analyze, and attack or defend. But is the press buying the Liberal agenda she laid out here in great detail and when will she sit down for an actual interview?
The media pounce on Jeb Bush hiring a new campaign manager as evidence of a major shake-up as he prepares to launch his candidacy. Will he get a fair shake from the press?
Marco Rubio rips The New York Times for challenging his traffic tickets and personal finances. Are these stories over the top?
Plus, why is cable news showing the video of that hot headed pool party cop over and over again. I'm Howard Kurtz, and this is a special edition of "MediaBuzz."
After joining the press pack on Roseville Island, I had a chance to talk to John Podesta, Hillary's Campaign Chairman. Why did the lengthy policy speech sound like a Bill Clinton State of the Union, he allowed that Bill might have made a few tweaks but said these were very much Hillary's ideas.
Podesta denied that the Former First Lady would coast to the nomination saying, Bernie Sanders has a following if not support and she would have to fight for Iowa and New Hampshire, ok. But let's not bury the lead. I asked Podesta when Hillary Clinton would start doing interviews and he said right away. There was a huge press turnout at Roseville Island, 550 requests for press credentials and no shortage of pundits weighing in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Democracy can't be just for billionaires and corporations. I may not be the youngest candidate in this race but I will be the youngest woman President in the history of the United States.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: I think this is a confidence speech from Hillary Clinton and it reflects the confidence of the campaign.
HILLARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: For days the aides have been downplaying how much policy to expect in this speech. I now suspect that was before Hillary Clinton got a hold of the draft because we all know in our heart she actually is kind of a policy wonk.
JOHN MCCORMACK, WEEKLY STANDARD: When you listen to the speech, it earlier sounded like she was going to run on Obama's third term. There was nothing that she said to separate herself from the incumbent Democratic President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Joining us now here in New York, Rich Lowry, editor of National Review and a Fox News contributor. Dan Klaidman, deputy editor of Yahoo News and Julie Roginsky, a Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor.
Rich Lowry, this morning's New York Times appointed repudiation of Republican economic policies, Washington Post promising a more hopeful inclusive America and ready to take on the big challenges. Does the coverage reflect what an aggressively, Liberal policy speech this was?
RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW EDITOR: Yes, the sympathetic coverage. And it will be sympathetic of her policy proposals. The more hostile coverage she has gotten is of e-mail scandals and of the foundation, all of which stinks to high heaven and reporters have been quite skeptical of it because you have to be an idiot to believe the Clinton narrative about it.
KURTZ: So you see the economy in the coverage. Julie, this was sort of a laundry list speech as I watched her check off all of the boxes of the progressive agenda. If a Republican had given a speech as conservative as this was Liberal, I think the coverage would have focused very much on that. Instead the coverage was sort of like yeah, she said a bunch of Liberal things.
JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first and foremost this is a very poll-tested speech, right. I mean she's got Joel Benenson working for her, who's Obama's pollster and is an amazing strategist and obviously this checks off every laundry list -- not I think just for the Democratic primary vote but things that they feel comfortable talking about in the general election.
KURTZ: Is that why she went through you know -- a shout out to women, a shout out to gay people and then there was climate change.
ROGINSKY: Anybody who's done campaigns, all of us know you don't just wake up and give a speech that you want to give from the heart. You give a speech that you know you've tested and that resonates not just with your base but with independent voters that you meet down the road and that's what this was.
KURTZ: Maybe I was out there in the sun too long. But when she got down to the level of pre-k and paid sick leave, it did seem like a State of the Union where a committee had decided that every single thing had to be mentioned.
DAN KLAIDMAN, YAHOO NEWS DEPUTY EDITOR: Well yeah, I mean for one thing Hillary has been criticized for being out there and doing all of these small conversations in Iowa into groups and not really talking a lot about
-- she's on a listening tour, she's not really talking about policy. So I think there was an expectation that she would finally get out there and talk about some ideas. Now not in great detail. That's supposed to come later. But if she had not gone out and talk specifics, I think she would have got a lot of criticism, I think legitimately for not talking about policy.
KURTZ: Should the press push back and point out for example that all of the things that are terrible about this unequal economy, hey this guy you work for President Obama has been running the country for the last seven years.
LOWRY: Yeah you never heard that in the mainstream press and you'll never really get much pushback on things like the bogus number about the supposed pay disparity between men and women as grossly exaggerated. None of that will get a pushback. But she's a bizarre example of a Liberal politician that has an extremely fraught and somewhat hostile relationship with the press.
KURTZ: By bizarre you mean unusual for a Democrat?
LOWRY: Unusual for a Democrat. And it goes back to scandal wars of the 1990s and then her experience in the 2008 campaign where the press had a slobbering love affair with Barack Obama and was probably so hostile to her that at times even I felt a little sorry for her in 2008 and she is scarred by that.
KURTZ: Interesting. Should the media point out for example that this woman served as Secretary of State for four years but there were just a couple minutes on foreign policy? I was in the Situation Room when we got Bin Laden but not really grappling -- you can't do everything in one speech but not really grappling with the challenges we face around the world.
ROGINSKY: And the media has I think. Rich is very right to the extent that she's not getting the treatment that Barack Obama got in 2008. She shouldn't expect it. She's never going to get it. So I think the press has done a fairly equitable job of pointing out her shortcomings and I think the foreign policy -- lack of foreign policy details. One of them -- look, she claims she's going to expand on that down the road. We'll see about that. But she needs to come up for a reason for why she's running.
It can't just be I'm going to check off the box for every Liberal cause out there. She needs to give people a reason to vote for her.
KURTZ: Here's where I think the press was taken for a ride. There were some calculated leaks, a day before the speech here. New York Times front page story -- I think it was on the front page, Clinton embraces her mother's emotional tale and a lot of detail about Dorothy Rodham and how she has been sent away by her parents when she was eight years old and so forth. And it was supposed to be a very emotional, personal speech. Well a few passages about her mother and one about her father working in a lace factory but by in large it was a policy speech.
KLAIDMAN: It was a policy speech but it was cloaked in this sort of human story. This was how Hillary Clinton decided she wanted to frame this idea of her as a fighter, that her mother was someone who overcame these very difficult odds. I think the press has always wanted her to speak more about that personal side and she never really wanted to. So from respective of reporters, this is news. She's doing something she has not done before. And so I think...
KURTZ: I guess based on the leaks, I was expecting not just more about her parents but more personal...
KLAIDMAN: Her personal story is not quite as interesting. It's a little more prosaic, there's a little more drama in her mother's story.
LOWRY: I think it's interesting how the Clinton campaign played that.
You're right that notion was out there very strongly at the beginning. It sounded like it was going to be a speech all about her mother. You got the coverage of her mother prior to the speech and even though these were just a few passages, kind of shoe-horned in, a lot of the press still picked up on it.
KURTZ: Very shrewdly done, but in The Washington Post on Friday, a big, somewhat a favorable profile but the headline was channeling Tom Petty.
She won't back down. Can you imagine another very aggressive politician, I don't know, Ted Cruz, getting that kind of headline.
LOWRY: No. Never in a million years. That's just because a lot of reporters are primed to believe her narrative about the country, at least be sympathetic to it in a way they aren't with Ted Cruz.
ROGINSKY: But I do have to say to that point, they may be sympathetic to her narrative, they are not sympathetic to her as a human being. I don't think they ever have been, a part of that is her own fault for not engaging reporters enough and part of that is the press' fault for making her a target for 20 to 30 years. She's had a hand in making that happen but nevertheless the press as we talked about in 2008 and even before has made her into a caricature to some extent. So I see from her perspective, as to why she's putting this out there. I'm going to go around the press, I won't back down. I'm going to go straight to the voters. That's the message she's putting out there, she's putting the press as much on notice in this as she is the voters about that.
KURTZ: But Julie, in the last two months as she's done small groups in Iowa and New Hampshire and the so-called listening tour, not only has she not engaged the press very much, which we've all talked about. I know people think we're just whining and it's not important, it's all about us, but I think it's more about a candidate engaging the public through the press. But these utterly news-less scripted events, I think left a vacuum for all of the aggressive stories in The New York Times and elsewhere about the private e-mail server, about the Clinton Foundation mess, about the high speaking fees maybe -- does that now changed that she's going to be talking about these Liberal programs?
ROGINSKY: She needs to go and have a few interviews, and not just interviews with sympathetic press. She needs to go meet the press in the truest sense of the word. Not just people who are very friendly to her but people who are going to ask her challenging questions. If she doesn't, it's going to persist, there's going to be a vacuum as you said. But more importantly, this is not how you run for President. You have to speak to the press. I don't understand what she's been doing about this.
KLAIDMAN: Howie, I think you put your finger on it and I think there are people inside the campaign who I have spoken to, who think that this is exactly what they need to do. She needs to make news. She needs to start making news on a regular basis that crowds out some of these other kinds of stories that are negative and I imagine there's some tension there that she's cautious, she's worried about the reaction to the policy pronouncements she might make. And so there's a little bit of back and forth between her and advisers. But I think we will begin to start seeing that. I think you're going to start seeing these policy announcements in these speeches that she's going to be giving and that might help.
KURTZ: I wrote about this extensively in the Clinton White House when it was engulfed by this or that scandal. The President's aides would always announce school uniforms or V-Chips, you know things that we all regarded as a small ball program but that would generate headlines to compete with if not drive off the endless scandal stories of that era.
LOWRY: And that worked. I think though, if you go back to the disparity and treatment between Republicans and Democrats, if a Republican like Jeb Bush had all these sort of scandals out there in the ether, in the coverage and was refusing to talk to the press pretty much at all, you would have reporter bodily throwing themselves in front of the campaign bus to stop him and she's gotten away with it.
KURTZ: One of the under covered things I think is that Jeb Bush has taken questions at almost every event he's done. He's done this week on his European tour, in contrast to Hillary so far. Again, John Podesta telling me right away, they're going to start interviews right away. Go ahead, Julie.
ROGINSKY: Look at what we've been doing. We've been talking about process for the last five or ten minutes as have reporters for the last two, three months. She's not talking about process, she's talking about policy whether...
ROGINSKY: Now she is but what's going on is she feels and her people feel they are going directly to voters. All of us in our little media bubble are talking about process. We love our media bubble. We love living in New York. But real voters don't care whether she's talking to any of us.
KURTZ: We try on this show to pierce the media bubble. Fascinating by way is that on Friday President Obama suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of his own Democratic Party on the Pacific Trade Bill and it has gotten all the dutiful coverage you would expect. I don't think the media have really been invested in that story. I think really right now the media doesn't care that much about trade because we've kind of moved on from Obama and we're focused on 2016. Not to say not an important story but it has to compete with all the other stuff and the noise machine. All right, don't forget to send me a message on Twitter, @Howardkurtz. We're going to read some of your tweets a bit later. When we come back, Bill Clinton talking to the media about his foundation, will he keep creating problems for his wife's campaign? And later, as The New York Times digs into Marco Rubio's finances and finds he bought a boat. Is the paper trying to sink the Florida Senator?
KURTZ: Bill Clinton who joined his wife on stage is giving another interview that could boomerang on the Hillary Campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, THE LEAD HOST: You're not saying -- you say you don't know if anybody sought any favor -- just that there was no...
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: No and I don't think Hillary would know either. She was pretty busy those years. I never saw her study a list of my contributors. I had no idea who was doing business before the State Department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Never saw her study a list of his contributors. Julie, Bill Clinton didn't speak at Roseville Island as some concern about overshadowing his wife but it seems like every time he gives an interview about the foundation, about e-mail, he gets asked and he generates controversy.
ROGINSKY: He is the most popular politician in the country and he is beloved in the Democratic base and he is beloved I think by some Independents that Clinton campaign wants to bring over to their side.
KURTZ: There is no but here?
ROGINSKY: There is no but actually. He is an asset to her if he can keep himself disciplined. And that's not...
ROGINSKY: He was not disciplined in 2008, it backfired on her especially in places like South Carolina. If they can keep the big dog under control, he's a huge asset. If not then you know...
KURTZ: Muzzle the big dog.
ROGINSKY: Not muzzle, not muzzle, just discipline.
KURTZ: I'm sure he's an asset potentially but he keeps -- especially with old questions surrounding around the foundation, and Bill Clinton often seems annoyed at journalists for challenging the foundation's good works.
Like that NBC interview about his own speaking fees, when he said I got to pay our bills.
LOWRY: Yeah well it's a double edged sword because he's no doubt the most talented political communicator of this generation. But on all this stuff, he sounds whiney and off key and if there is any way to have him do interviews and not have to talk about this, they should do that. But obviously that's impossible.
KURTZ: That's striking because he's so good at dealing with the press and giving speeches and being folksy and maybe it comes with being out of office for all those years.
LOWRY: Keep him at a podium, keep him at platform, and don't have him do these interviews. Maybe that's the solution.
KURTZ: Well I'm never going to endorse that because I like the idea of people being interviewed. Jake Tapper who has just taken over CNN's State of the Union asked good questions, here you have a Former President who could be an enormous asset as we said and yet the strategy is mostly keep him away from the media.
KLAIDMAN: For now.
KURTZ: For 2015 at least.
KLAIDMAN: For 2015, you know as Hillary Clinton kicks off her campaign as you were alluding to before, the last thing that they would want is for her to be overshadowed by Bill Clinton. He sucks up a lot of oxygen including media oxygen and I think that would be problematic. She knows how valuable he is. In some ways he may be as valuable as an operator, as an analyst on the inside as opposed to someone who's out there. He will be out there rallying the base.
KURTZ: We're going to talk later in this program about this The New York Times piece on Marco Rubio's personal finances. You wrote a column about so just quickly -- your take on the tone.
LOWRY: It was extremely hostile. The idea that it's a scandal that Marco Rubio has four speeding tickets in 17 years especially for someone living in Miami, should get a Triple A Award for that and then they have this -- what they describe as a luxury sea boat and you expect to see something out of a James Bond Movie that the villain is using to escape and it turns out to be this unassuming fishing boat. So this is the kind of coverage that any Republican actually should welcome from The New York Times because you can go out there and say, look, I'm a victim and fund raise off of it and that's what Rubio has done.
KURTZ: It was a fishing boat but is cost $80,000. And not everybody can afford that. Rich Lowry, Dan Klaidman, Julie Roginsky good to see you here. Ahead on Media Buzz from New York, Rubio now is targeting The New York Times to boost his fund-raising as Rich says and why it's working.
But up next, with Jeb Bush kicking off his campaign tomorrow, we talked to New York Magazine reporter who profiled him and was surprised by what she found.
KURTZ: Jeb Bush who officially jumps into the race tomorrow, is more ruthless than he looks, more conservative than moderates likes to believe, possibly more appealing to Latino's than Marco Rubio and likes to spar with reporters? All this according to New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior, we sat down with her here in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Jennifer Senior, welcome.
JENNIFER SENIOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
KURTZ: So you say that you agreed with Jeb Bush on exactly nothing. But you are impressed by him.
SENIOR: Yeah well, he's very endearing. Well, he works hard. I appreciate everybody with a work ethic. He's got a command of policy, he thinks he reads -- absolutely.
KURTZ: So you're coming out and say look, I'm a Liberal Democrat. Is that the effective way you report on a Jeb Bush?
SENIOR: Coming clean about what your bias is? I always think it's a good idea because we're all (Inaudible) by them so I mean -- I found no harm in explaining what mine was.
KURTZ: You have talked to some Jeb watchers -- people who are watching in Florida, who say he likes to think out loud in front of reporters. Do you think that can continue?
SENIOR: If it's all he does -- think about McCain. McCain had that going on and because it was a shtick...
KURTZ: I sat on that bus for hours and hours and hours. And he made mistakes.
SENIOR: But he made them so frequently that he cycled through them like news cycle was over.
KURTZ: Journalists cut him some breaks because we had so much access and everything wasn't pent up to one big press conference.
SENIOR: That's the problem, I think if you're going to go that route, if you're going to be the kind of bee-bopping, free styling guy, you have to do it all the time, you can't do it partially. So unfortunately -- yeah, I think he's either got to run with it or -- I hope he doesn't. It's really annoying when people hit response 47 and pop out it goes.
KURTZ: I've seen that a few times. In reporting this profile for New York Magazine, how much access did you have to Jeb?
SENIOR: People around him are very willing to speak. He's not talking to the mainstream press. It doesn't go particularly well even when he talks to Fox as we've seen, right.
KURTZ: Well he did make that one mistake about Iraq but he does take questions from reporters.
SENIOR: Sorry, he's not letting anybody in the car with him or doing big profiles right now.
KURTZ: Do you want him to be in the car?
SENIOR: I think everybody wanted to be in the car. That's what the deal is. Absolutely, he takes questions from anybody and that's to be commended, right.
KURTZ: How much has that whole question of access changed since you started covering politics? Do you feel like it's harder and harder to get near these candidates and see what they're really like?
SENIOR: It's astonishing that we have to sit with ice picks in order to get anywhere near anybody. In part this is of course because they can do their own press that may have a million other ways to get their message out, they don't need us, right. So I understand that.
KURTZ: But they do need us to some degree. So much less that it makes your job harder.
SENIOR: Much harder.
KURTZ: And in this age of Twitter and Snark and every misstep gets posted online in twelve seconds, do you blame candidates for limiting their engagement with the media?
SENIOR: I think that if they did their homework, they would find out actually who is reliable and who is not. I mean this is what's sort of problematic that they're now fielding -- I don't know how many requests a day to speak to them, right. And some of us have been doing this for a long time and others who have been doing it for ten minutes. I still think there's a way to do this and determine who might actually give them a fair shake and who writes real profiles and who handicaps and does only the horseracing stuff, who looks at this as sport and who's actually interested in substance. I don't believe any of that's gone away. It's just that there's a lot of static.
KURTZ: Without getting into the horserace, does it surprise you that a number of media outlets after a couple Bush missteps and then a little bit of a campaign shake-up where they bring a new campaign manager started writing pieces saying the campaign was in trouble before it began, before he announced.
SENIOR: Yeah I mean -- this is old, right. The idea that, oh look, they're indomitable and inevitable and fantastic and then oh, sorry they are fallible, in fact worse they're implausible. You know -- and then somewhere along the way everybody sort of gets the kind of middle perspective that they deserve.
KURTZ: So we hyped him up and then...
SENIOR: And then we all threw a lot of darts. Not we, I didn't but yes, I was never interested in that. I always just kind of wanted to know who he was. This is what was amazing to me. He ran the third most popular state in the country, right? He comes from this storied political family. No one outside of Florida has a clue of who this man is and that was my only...
KURTZ: That's a challenge.
KURTZ: Jennifer Senior, throwing no darts today. Thanks very much for joining us.
SENIOR: Thank you for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Throwing no darts. Ahead, the head of a local NAACP Chapter walks out on an interviewer as it turns out she's not African-American as she had claimed. But first, is Marco Rubio's financial ups and downs fair game for the press?
KURTZ: The New York Times seems to be taking aim at Marco Rubio. First came a bizarre little story that the Florida Senator had racked up four traffic tickets in 17 years, then an investigative reporter of the Times this week questioning how he manages his money, including student debt, multiple loans, an investment home sold as a loss and such splurges as
$80,000 in what the paper called a luxury speed boat and Rubio's spokesman calls a family fishing boat. That Spokesman Alex Conant telling me the Times piece was absurd and even Jon Stewart is mocking The New York Times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": It wasn't long until the Rubio's were splurging on a whole house with "an in-ground pool, handsome brick driveway, meticulously manicured shrubs and oversized windows." Oversized windows? What's the matter, Senator? The normal amount of light isn't good enough for you? How is this front-page news?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: How is this front-page news? So are these reports fair? Joining us now here in New York, Amy Holmes, who anchors "The Hotlist" for The Blaze, and in Austin, Marjorie Clifton, a Democratic strategist and commentator.
Amy, so first we have the parking ticket story and then The New York Times reporting on Rubio's debts. He had a lot of student debt. He had to cash in a retirement account. Stuff like that. All fair game for presidential candidate?
AMY HOLMES, THE HOTLIST ANCHOR: I think they're fair. But is it relevant and most readers said no. And in fact I would tell Marco Rubio...
KURTZ: How would you know what most readers say no, was there a poll?
HOLMES: Well let me say a lot of political commentators from both the left and the right. Thank you for the correction. But frankly, Marco Rubio should put this reporter on the payroll. It made him so sympathetic and it also rallied a lot of support for Marco Rubio against The New York Times and any future reporting they may have to do on Marco Rubio. I think they really undercut themselves. Undercut their credibility. Particularly with the luxury speed boat that any person could look at and see was a fishing boat.
KURTZ: The Rubio Campaign was quick to send out a picture. Marjorie, I think the personal finances of anybody running for President of course are going open to media scrutiny, the question was -- and a lot of this stuff had appeared elsewhere. There are some new details. Was this an important story? Did it warrant the kind of coverage that the Times gave it?
MARJORIE CLIFTON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well I mean right now they are looking for anything with all the candidates to parade out. They similarly went after Hillary Clinton not too long ago on her finances. I think they'll probably do with the most are the same with most of the candidates.
I do agree -- I mean it has gotten extraordinary amount of hype, I think it has done him a lot of favors. I mean I love Jon Stewart's take on the parking tickets. He was in the Miami hall of fame of driver's because of his hour tickets. I mean it's made him all the more likable frankly. The question of is it important? You know, I think what they're focusing more on is going to be his transition on his positions on immigration reform. I think it will be about personal finances, it will be about his legislative record. But you know, is this deal breaking, absolutely not.
KURTZ: What's striking here Amy is that so much of the coverage has been about rich people in the campaign or Hillary's finances, and to some extent Jeb Bush's finances. So now you have a guy trying who's trying to support four kids, has made some mistakes, is a little bit stretched and I'm thinking ok, this is probably like 75 percent of Americans.
HOLMES: Exactly. You mean Marco Rubio got caught up in the housing bubble that crashed the United States economy and so many Americans are still trying to get out from under? But I don't think it's comparable to Hillary Clinton's finances. What you're talking about there is the foundation raising millions and millions -- tens and hundreds of dollars from possibly foreign governments and influencing U.S. policy. With Marco Rubio to try to go after him for his luxury house with the manicured shrubs and the handsome driveway...
KURTZ: And the oversized windows.
HOLMES: And the oversized windows are going after him personally. I know The New York Times is trying to connect that with some sort of potential corruption when it comes to Marco Rubio as a politician using campaign finances for personal gain but they missed that point by a mile with all these other stories.
KURTZ: And so the Rubio Campaign Marjorie you know sends out a fund- raising letter attacking The Times, raises $100,000 initially. Is that a classic way for a campaign to turn the tables on the media?
CLIFTON: Absolutely. I mean that was actually a wonderful strategy. And I think on Marco Rubio the point with him is he's a young candidate. He doesn't have that bong track record of a Clinton or a Bush. And he's trying to not be institution and you try to be at everyday. The question will become, is that something that wins the public over and do they see him as a strong enough, experienced enough candidate. I think that's going to be the issue for him.
KURTZ: Let me turn to Jeb Bush. The New York Times this morning has front-page headline, a shaky start compels Bush to redefine his tones.
What happened is, Jeb replaced his campaign manager, hiring a guy named Danny Diaz, shuffled around some top aides and suddenly the press is kind of portraying this as a campaign that's in trouble, that's not firing on all cylinders. Does that seem like hype? He gets in the race tomorrow.
HOLMES: Right and as Jeb Bush said, this is way too early. I mean how many -- 16 months until Election Day. Again, this is -- I think The New York Times hyping the negative when it comes to a Republican candidate putting it on the front page. The Marco Rubio story was on the front page.
Meanwhile, campaign shake-ups are common. We remember it happened to Al Gore when he had to move his campaign down to Tennessee. John Kerry had to shake up his campaign in 2006.
KURTZ: Ronald Reagan fired his campaign manager on the day of the 1980 New Hampshire Primary.
HOLMES: Right I think this is a way to try to attack Jeb Bush who -- one of his strengths actually is being a governor and being an executive. And this is an attack on that credential.
KURTZ: Marjorie, Jeb Bush insider told me what has happened here is because he's a Bush and was expected to raise a lot of money, the media really inflated expectations saying Jeb Bush would be a dominant front runner, was going to blow everyone out of the water and then when that didn't happen, the same media criticized the campaign for not meeting expectations that in their view were set by the press, your thoughts?
CLIFTON: Well I think the point is the environment is completely different from Jeb Bush as it with for his brother when he ran. In '99, George W.
had 114 House Republicans supporting and publicly his campaign. Where as Jeb Bush right now has no public support from any House Republican.
KURTZ: Understood. He doesn't have the George W. but do you find some of these stories about how the campaign is in trouble. By the way, I'm told the campaign will raise $100,000...
CLIFTON: $100 million.
KURTZ: $100 million, excuse me. Thank you -- next month. Do you find some of these stories a bit overdone? It's early.
CLIFTON: Well I think there are some interesting points to be made. One of the things they're saying as a criticism of Jeb Bush is him being a moderate which is really indicative of the current media environment. That being a moderate is a bad thing and that his position on immigration reform and education reform are also negatives for him in terms of the party. I think more of the story right now is the fact that the environment is fundamentally different than it's ever been. The number of candidates and the fact that he's trying to go with that moderate long game. The fact that he did hire a new campaign manager is indicative but it hasn't quite gone as planned.
KURTZ: That's fair. That's fair. The press doesn't like long games. We live in a 24-hour cycle. Let me cut you off so I can get can get a break here.
Ahead on this special edition of "MediaBuzz," CNN's Chris Cuomo gets dissed by his brother, the governor during a crisis over two escaped convicts. Television has played this Texas video of an out of control cop again and again. Why isn't this purely local story?
KURTZ: You have probably seen this footage dozens of times, a hot-headed cop in McMillan, Texas drawing his gun in a pool party and then roughing up a 15-year-old African-American girl in a bathing suit, the officer later resigning. But what makes this a national story? And Amy, it's brutal to watch what he does to that girl. It's hard to watch. Should this be the latest cable news obsession?
HOLMES: Well it's a national story because it's a national phenomenon and has been at least for cable news over the past year and a half. Of course you had the Eric Garner chokehold that killed that man. He was unarmed, he was just selling cigarettes.
KURTZ: Right but this is not Ferguson. Nobody died. Staten Island, yes, Ferguson, yes, Baltimore, yes. Pool party?
HOLMES: What you are seeing brutality from white police officer on African-American and as Kathleen Parker, Conservative Columnist as she wrote, had that been a white girl, would she have been treated similarly?
I don't know the answer to that but certainly you want to get to the answer of that.
KURTZ: Marjorie, in the age of cell phone video, because that's what makes these TV stories, there's always somebody whipping out the phone and capturing this. Are we going to cover every local scuffle and every pool party that happens to involve a police officer and often young kids?
CLIFTON: Well, I think it's interesting in the civil rights movement it was television that sort of turned the tide in terms of policies that then supported the African-American communities. I think similarly, there is a public outcry right now. There's -- populations that are incensed and people very frustrated by the fact that it doesn't seem to be changing.
It's a trend. Pure research shows that only 30 percent of the black population trusts the Police Force, 70 percent of the white population.
That's a problem. So this is indicative I think of a larger conversation.
A larger issue we're having in our country. And an invitation to say policy makers, Police Force, we need to do something. That's what this is about. I anticipate it will continue until something is done.
KURTZ: I am in no way of minimizing the problems, the friction, sometimes excessive force between police departments around the country and often minorities. But when you were describing this right now, you kind of framed it in racial terms because yes the police officer, Eric Casebolt is white. He's apologized through his lawyer and as I say stepped down from the force. The girl was African-American but they were -- wasn't only African-American kids there. So you have no doubt this is a racial story or is the press framing it as a racial story?
HOLMES: I think it is being framed as a racial story but there's African- American witness who said he didn't think it was about race. I think it's fair to ask these questions but I would also add Howie, that Chicago black on black gun crime a lot of people they bet ought to be a national story and not just a local story because it is an epidemic that needs attention and policy prescriptions and leadership so you can look at the flip side and say that's not necessarily racial in terms of racial friction but you do see a problem in the black inner city when it comes to gun crime.
KURTZ: Let me move to a growing storm over a woman who is the head of NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington Rachel Dolezal. She was interviewed by KXLY, a television station out there. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was wondering if your dad really is an African- American man.
RACHEL DOLEZAL, SPOKANE NAACP: That's a very -- I don't know what you're implying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you African-American?
DOLEZAL: I don't understand the question of -- I did tell you yes that's my dad. He was unable to come in January.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: She didn't waltz off from the interview. I thought we had that part. So now the backdrop here is that her white parents telling The Washington Post and CNN among others that this woman has been impersonating an African-American and that she's infact white. We saw a picture of her when she was a white girl. So is that a national story?
HOLMES: It's an interesting story. It's certainly fascinating. If I were the reporter on that story I'm sure I wouldn't believe it as you peel back layers like an onion you may start to feel like you're writing for the onion because all of the bizarre, crazy far-fetched things that she said about herself. Clearly she couldn't answer that question in a forthright way. It's an easy enough question.
KURTZ: Right and I know this is a larger debate about well you know -- couldn't a white official be the head of a NAACP chapter, and the answer is yes. But it kind of comes down to, wasn't she lying? And then -- sort of odd spectacle of the parents giving television interviews and saying their daughter is lying. That kind of gives it an irresistible human element but the lying part seems to be the fair game for journalists.
HOLMES: I agree. And what appears to be the duplicity and fraudulent on her part not just in her personal life. If she wants to lie in tanning beds all day and wear afro wigs, she can. That's her personal choice. I don't anybody -- you might think it's a little odd, a little strange but she's also telling these stories in terms of her public life being a public persona, public civic rights activist and clinging on public forum that she has ethnicities that she doesn't appear to.
KURTZ: Rachel Dolezal, supposedly going to speak to the media tomorrow.
Amy Holmes thanks very much. We lost our satellite feed with Marjorie Clifton. So thank you, Marjorie. We appreciate it this Sunday. After the break, Sean Hannity takes on Lindsey Graham for daring to suggest that he's polarizing and the Cuomo Brothers mixing it up on CNN's morning show. Our video verdict is next.
KURTZ: The topic was deadly serious, the escape of two convicts from a maximum security prison in upstate New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo was the guest on CNN's "New Day." The show's co-anchor, Chris Cuomo wisely let his colleague Alisyn Camerota handle the interview but as Jon Stewart noted that didn't get him out of the line of fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: You clearly don't know older brothers, my friend.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D-N.Y.: By the way, we're working on a long-term journalism piece, we were looking for a reporter to go into a prison and maybe stay there for about a year or so and then do an expose --
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN: I knew it.
CUOMO: On prison life. If you have any suggestions, just any suggestions --
CAMEROTA: I do have a suggestion.
CUOMO: We're open to it.
STEWART: I just want you to, for a second, take a look at that face. That is a face that stopped being amused by this (bleep) around age 6.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Now Chris Cuomo was smart to keep his mouth shut and not debate the Governor of New York. He's had some practice since his dad was also a Governor and no point in taking on a politician who is a member of your own family but, hey, his expressions said it all.
Lindsey Graham, the newly declared presidential candidate was talking to NBC's Chuck Todd about media polarization and offered this anecdote about how the Founding Fathers would have fared in the cable era.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Ben Franklin comes outside and I got Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity jumping all over. Don't give in, Ben.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Well that didn't sit too well with Sean Hannity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, "HANNITY": I love when you go on with liberal commentators like Chuck Todd and take shots at me. That's great.
GRAHAM: Oh, you can handle it.
HANNITY: I can handle it, you're right. I don't mind at all and I'm not taking it personally. I have a conservative solution caucus. I support tax cuts. I support the penny plan. I support energy independence. I support border security. I support a strong national defense. I have all of these things written down on my website, and they have been there for well over a year. Aren't they solutions? I'm -- isn't that saying yes?
GRAHAM: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely you have solutions, but so does Rachel Maddow, and the problem is that we can't blend these solutions. If I had to pick between your list and hers, I would pick yours.
HANNITY: That's a big concession.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Doesn't he seem a tad defensive about the Senator's jab but he had a point saying great leaders over the years have been polarizing. Graham's point as a politician is polarization is easy for pundits but elected officials have to find ways to get things passed.
Still to come your top tweets, a horrible mistake in a Bernie Sanders interview, a new title for Rupert Murdoch, and a reporter who just couldn't thank President Obama enough.
KURTZ: In our press picks this media fail, NPR Host Diane Rehm is a terrific interviewer who made a colossal mistake. She asked Bernie Sanders about having dual Israeli citizenship which is an utterly untrue rumor and it gets worse, she took it from a comment on Facebook. What kind of research is that? The Senator corrected her and Rehm has apologized.
Rupert Murdoch, the Founder of this network's parent company 20th Century Fox is relinquishing the title of CEO and handing that job to his son James and another son Lachlan will also play a big role. That's a very big deal because this controversial billionaire is the face of the global corporation. He started with a single Australian newspaper and brought huge changes to the media landscape, conquering the world of British newspapers, revolutionizing TV sports here in the States, launching the fourth American broadcast network and, of course, building a hugely successful and profitable cable news network and its properties have backed plenty of politicians from Margaret Thatcher to Ed Koch. When something goes wrong like the phone hacking scandal at the now defunct News of the World, he gets the blame. And as a Hollywood Reporter notes, this is the first time no non-family member will be part of the highest executive level of the company. But the latest move is not a big deal and the market has barely reacted for this reason. With the 83-year-old Murdoch taking on the title of Executive Chairman and planning on working regularly, the media consensus is that he'll remain the driving force behind the company for some time to come.
Time for your top tweets, will Hillary Clinton's Liberal speech yesterday change her media narrative? Nathaniel Calfi, Hillary Clinton always was a radical Liberal. How could spelling out Liberal agenda plausibly change her media narrative? Trench town rock, breaking news, a Democrat doesn't have a conservative platform. MLD, that is correct, she is going to win and that is that, Howie. All right, I'll take the next year off.
Espinosa's Rose, it's Hillary's tragic deficiency and charisma in authenticity that accounts for her media phobia. That is unlikely to change. Media phobia, I like that word.
When the folks sent "Extra" actor and correspondent Jerry Penacoli to interview Barack Obama, the president got more than just a bunch of softball questions, he got what was practically a paid political endorsement of ObamaCare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY PENCOLI, "EXTRA": You pretty much saved my finances and my life.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You're a perfect example of somebody who could be caught with debilitating bills or not being able to get the care you need.
PENACOLI: This has nothing for me to do with politics. I'm just letting you know that it made a difference in my life.
OBAMA: I appreciate that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: I get it, I get that "Extra" is an entertainment show and Penacoli had battled cancer, but come on. Don't show up in a reporter's role and gush over the guy like that. Two thumbs down.
That's it for this New York edition of "MediaBuzz," I'm Howard Kurtz. Appreciate you joining us this Sunday. We hope you'll like our Facebook page. We post a lot of original content there. You can be part of your Buzz, just send us e-email, I read them all, MediaBuzz@foxnews.com. MediaBuzz@foxnews.com, ask a media question, no political speeches. And we're back home in Washington next Sunday as you know at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern. We'll see you then with the latest Buzz.
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