Media question Trump's health care win

This is a rush transcript from "Media Buzz," May 7, 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 gets a win as the House passes the health care compromise. But the many in the media including many conservatives are dumping on the bill.


STEVE SCHMIDT: I hate to say this on national television but I agree with Nancy Pelosi. I think they had zero chance in passing the senate. I do think they needed extricate themselves from a self-made political debacle.

KIMBERLY GIULFOYLE, FOX NEWS: A big win for him today ion health care and for the Republican, now they have to get the 100-yard dash in terms of getting it through the senate which is not going to be easy.

DONNY DEUTCH, MSNBC: Disabled children are losing their benefits in school and what are we looking at? A bunch of fat, middle age rich white guys.

DON LEMON, CNN: This is not about winners and losers. This is about life and death for millions of Americans.


KURTZ: Does the press have real problems with this plan or echoing the Democrats rhetoric that changing ObamaCare it means people will die. Former Trump campaign manager Carl Lewandowski joins our discussion. Huge headlines as James Comey defend his last-minute investigation of Hillary Clinton, and she blames the FBI chief for costing her the election, plus calls for Stephen Colbert to be fired after he refuses to apologize for a crude sex joke about Trump and Putin.


STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE NIGHT HOST: If you saw my monologue on Monday on, you know that I was a little upset with Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine. So in return I had a few crude things to say and I don't regret that.


KURTZ: And Jimmy Kimmel using his baby new fails illness to criticize the president health plan. The late night comments in their anti-Trump (inaudible) having an impact, I am Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."

The press had repeatedly pronounced last rites for Trump's effort to replace ObamaCare. And there was some subdue and skeptical tone after the House pushes through on a narrow party line vote.


SCOTT PELLEY: Celebrating at the White House.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: How am I doing? Am I doing ok?

PELLEY: House Republicans resuscitate their health care plan.

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI: It died right here on the floor and now it has come back to life like a zombie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even Republicans in the Senate are saying it's far from a done deal.

DAVID MUIR: Lawmakers voted without the final bill being scored. Meaning they voted without knowing how many fewer Americans would be insured.


KURTZ: Joining us now to analyze the coverage Erin McPike, White House correspondent for Independent Journal Review, Gayle Trotter a political commentator who writes for the Hill and Town hall and Mo Elleithee, director of Georgetown University institute of Politics a former DNC official and a Fox News contributor.

Erin, are the media portraying the House vote as a moderate victory or a modest step?

ERIN MCPIKE, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR FORMER REAL CLEAR POILITICS: I think the media is reporting it as a huge victory. It was a big deal when they couldn't bring it to the floor in March to vote on it then.

KURTZ: Wait, it was a big deal when they couldn't bring in to the floor and that was rightly reported as a setback.

MCPIKE: It was.

KURTZ: Why is it they brought together the factions and passed it?

MCPIKE: This thing, I think it's got a long way to go before it becomes law. And the senators are saying they are going to rewrite this entirely.

KURTZ: When the House didn't vote, and everybody says that this is a big failure, there were a lot of the obituaries and MSNBC Lawrence O'Donnell said his presidency effectively ended, he is a powerless president.

GAYLE TROTTER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR FOR THE HILL AND TOWNHALL: Certainly and I would disagree with Erin too, I would say the media are not representing this as a victory. The same media that harangued President Trump and the Republicans for getting this passed in March won't even call it a partial victory.

MCPIKE: No, by the hill, the Washington Post, CNN, I saw it called a huge victory. And it's just a step.

TROTTER: The articles I have say the White House and President Trump claim it's a victory.

MCPIKE: It shows Paul Ryan can do his job. It is being cast as a huge victory.

KURTZ: I think it's being portrayed as a bit of a win with a big fat asterisk. Mo, the press needs to focus on how Donald Trump and Paul Ryan brought these factions together to get this through the House or how hard it will be to pass in the senate.

MOE ELLEITHEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: I think the press is doing both. I agree with Erin. I think a lot of the press portrayed this as a needed victory for the president who had this stumbling block the last go-round. But there is a lot further to go. And we are hearing that today on one of the other networks this morning. Senator Susan Collins said senate Republicans will start from scratch. They don't believe the House bill will take care of people's preexisting conditions the way the House leadership says it will. I am cable news junky. I watch it all day in my office.

KURTZ: Let's look at some of the more extreme claims being made. This is the headline from the Huffington Post: "House votes to let him die." Doesn't this kind of inflammatory rhetoric kind of discredit the liberal side of the media, let them die.

MCPIKE: Yes, and I think there has been a lot of going overboard on some of this coverage. When the vote didn't -- when they didn't have the vote in March, it was a lot about substance. It went down over policy. This time the coverage is all about the drama for getting the win, and so little of it was about policy except for the amendment that dealt with preexisting conditions.

KURTZ: Are there legitimate questions from the press about how much preexisting conditions will be covered? Part of the press' job is to be skeptical about what this bill will do.

TROTTER: I'm giving "the Washington Post" credit for calling four Pinocchio's on the claim of the outrages and various claim that sexual assault is a preexisting condition.

KURTZ: Nothing on the bill about it, you are saying the president did his job there?

TROTTER: Yes, absolutely.

KURTZ: It seems to me a lot of the coverage, the status quo is fine, the Trump bill would change it and that is a bad thing.

ELLEITHEE: I don't think you can say the press has treated ObamaCare with kid gloves, over the past nine years.

KURTZ: How about the past week?

ELLEITHEE: The question now is Democrats and Republicans accept that ObamaCare needs some adjustments, needs some fixes. The Republican plan doesn't say fix, it says replace. So what are you going to replace it with? If you have Republican members of congress going on the record to the press and saying we actually didn't read it.

KURTZ: ObamaCare was pushed through when the Democrats controlled the White House and the congress. There was a Nancy Pelosi quote and the way it was pushed through. Now liberal pundits are complaining if lawmakers have time to read this thing. The Republicans said no, we did not have time. And there is no score. And it seems to me they switched side.

MCPIKE: Sure, the Republicans are the ones who made that point. Republicans wanted to know what was in it so they have to live up to that own standard.

KURTZ: The Democrats did the same thing as my point.

TROTTER: They don't care about reading it.

KURTZ: Doesn't the press give President Trump credit for this. He ran on, I don't want to take insurance away from anybody. He basically pushed the House to come up with something where at least they would try to have the impact of this bill not kick people off the rolls, because they had a previous medical problem. In other words he took a more moderate stance than House conservatives.

ELLEITHEE: Well I think the challenge is the details of the bill don't bear that out. Yes he went out there and said even the day before the vote that I want to make sure people with preexisting conditions are covered. But this bill does not guarantee that. It also kicks a lot of people off Medicaid. But it doesn't guarantee it. His promise was to guarantee it, and the next day he is standing there in a rose garden ceremony declaring victory over something that did not guarantee what he promise it would guarantee.

KURTZ: Let pull back a little bit Gayle, because Charles Krauthammer said that who has a medical degree, he says Republicans are attempting to deal with preexisting conditions, and there are other parts of ObamaCare that have been kept. The freedom caucus sort of had to go along with that how much has the political debate moved from where it would have been seven years ago.

TROTTER: When you have a big entitlement social entitlement program passed through congress, it's hard to roll it back. Americans want a partial repeal or rollback of ObamaCare, because you have narrow networks, increasing premiums, sky rocketing deductibles and so many insurers are pulling out of the (inaudible) so there are no options left. So this coming down on the Democrats and the coverage has given short trip like you said last week, but in the last week the CBS, ABC and NBC have not done a good job of showing the flaws of ObamaCare.

MCPIKE: You are right, over the past week the existing problems with ObamaCare have not gone that kind of coverage. I asked a communications director to an influential senator, we know ObamaCare need to be fixed, here are our package of fixes. This person said to me that you can't really put out the exact policies we want to pursue because then the media will shred it.

KURTZ: Let me get a break here. Let us know what you think. is the email. When we come back, James Comey, drawing fire from pundits across the spectrum as he defends his Clinton investigation on the Hill and later, Corey Lewandowski on the media's coverage of the president's wins on health care.


KURTZ: the cable news network went live when Senators grilled James Comey about why he announce the new investigation of Hillary Clinton's email in the final stretch of the campaign and his testimony, (inaudible) debate over why she lost.


JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: This is terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we could have had some impact on the election.

SEKULOW: I don't understand how in the world the Department of Justice and James Comey with a straight face, what did he say? Mildly nauseous, because somebody accuses him of interfering with the campaign, is that the new standard for the FBI Director, mildly nauseous?

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Eleven days before the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton is back under investigation by the FBI that is a hard argument to make.


KURTZ: I would say the press was mildly nauseous over Comey's testimony, I mean pretty tough in him for (inaudible) had to go public to renew the investigation, but getting it from both sides. James Comey not a very popular guy in the media these days.

TROTTER: he is not a very popular guy in the media from the conservative or mainstream media, some people would say that is an indication he is really displaying his independence, because he is not making anybody happy with his testimony or the actions he took in July last year or right before the elections. The mainstream media didn't like it because he called out Bill Clinton for meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the Tarmac.

KURTZ: Does the coverage reflect the fact that liberals and liberal commentators are still upset about the monkey wrench they believe James Comey threw into the campaign and conservative commentators are upset he didn't bring charges against Hillary Clinton in the first place.

ELLEITHEE: I think what was going through James Comey's mind in the last year is one of the great unexplained questions in politics. When he was asked why he released one and treated the Hillary Clinton differently than he treated the Donald Trump stuff, he said I didn't. I thought about it the same way. He said one I waited several months and did it this way. I don't think there are a lot of people on the left or right that would agree with that.

KURTZ: Nate Silver said the following. If Comey's letter altered the outcome of the election, the media may have some responsibility. The story dominated the news coverage drowning out other headlines and he says jumping to conclusion. Was that over covered or not.

MCPIKE: I remember that Friday afternoon it came out. It braking news banner all across cables, it dominated that last weekend. Of course it had some impact. You can't say that it didn't.

KURTZ: Now the story with Comey and the investigation and Huma Abedin seems to be going in a different direction.

TROTTER: Right the coverage is switching to the fact that this classified information was transmit from Huma to her husband. You see the shifting from look at director Comey's decisions to the act of Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner.

KURTZ: It's like - it's like they are still endlessly replaying this election.

ELLEITHEE: We are still talking about an open investigation at the FBI, the Department of Justice, the House and senate intelligence committee about Donald Trump's campaign aides and their ties to Russia, so none of this seems to be going away.

MCPIKE: We don't have any answers. Comey has been indicating that he knows so much more than he is letting on, and I think that is why he got some difficult coverage.

KURTZ: Erin McPike, Gayle Trotter, Mo Elleithee thanks very much for stopping by this Sunday, up next Hillary Clinton taking heat from the media for saying she would be president today if not for Jim Comey. And later, Stephen Colbert doesn't regret his crude sex joke about the president, is he just playing with the anti-Trump crowd?


Everybody I talked to, Democrats, independents, Republicans alike said that was pathetic.

KURTZ: Hillary Clinton still pointing fingers over her lost to Donald Trump especially at the FBI Director for renewing her investigation over her email debacle in the campaign final stretch in the sit down with CNN Amanpour, the former first lady said this.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I take absolute personal responsibility, I was the candidate, but I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks rave out in the minds of the people who were into voting for me, but got scared off.


KURTZ: Joining us from Orlando, Ed Henry, Fox chief national correspondent who covered the Clinton campaign and the author of "42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story."

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Good to see you.

KURTZ: Same here Ed, Hillary Clinton was quoting Nate Silver when she said she was endorsing his view that she would be president if not for Comey. But she says she'll take responsibility. But it seems like she is not acknowledging any mistakes on her part.

HENRY: Absolutely, I think Sean Spicer said if the super bowl would have ended at halftime the Atlanta falcons would be the winners. To say I take responsibility, this one is on me, and then names five other people that allegedly were to blame. The fact her own staff was out on twitter lashing out at reporters saying you are being unfair to her again. What are you talking about? She claimed to take responsibility and then blamed everybody else.

KURTZ: All right wasn't much about having an economic message or visiting those rust belt states. But people forget that she and her campaign had very tasty relations with the press, you covered part of that campaign, remember initially for months, they blamed journalists for making too much of the email investigation.

HENRY: Right and now in these books like "Shattered" and all of the postmortems, her own advisors seem to be admitting that the email situation was a disaster from the start. I mean, John Podesta said in retrospect we should have released the emails ourselves and not turn them over the State Department. They themselves realized this was a disaster. Yet they were pointing the finger at the press and the Republican critics throughout. They now realize within the campaign itself that the email situation was a disaster and they never really dealt with it. We learned from WikiLeaks, throughout the campaign we need more answers. We don't know what her message is. They didn't know.

KURTZ: Right, as I mentioned, let's take a look at the interview.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN: What do you imagine your election as the first female president of the United States might have said to the world and the women of the world who are look for validation, for somebody to heart that highest and hardest ceiling?

CLINTON: I think it would have been a really big deal.


KURTZ: How would you rate the level of questioning by Amanpour?

HENRY: Of course, if you look at her statement about Donald Trump, comparing him to a dictator who might kill journalist around the world essentially. And number two, this idea that Hillary Clinton is still opining about what would had happen if I were elected, most failed presidential candidates leave the stage, she just can't seem to do it.

KURTZ: Well the media love to keep this alive. Stick around we will talk to you later in the show. Ahead some people are calling for Stephen Colbert to be fired for his offensive anti-Trump joke. Does that go too far, but first, Corey Lewandowski on his former boss, ranching up his fight against what he calls fake news.


KURTZ: The media has raised all kinds of questions about President Trump's first major legislative victory. Joining us now from Manchester is Corey Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager. Corey when President Trump able to get this health care legislation through the House with one votes to spare. There was criticism about millions of people will lose their coverage and some people will die. Do you think the coverage has been fair?

COREY LEWANDOSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You know the coverage hasn't been fair. They said he couldn't win the primary, then he couldn't win the general election and then he could not get the health care done. It made it through the House and the media doesn't want to give him the credit. Of course, it's not fair.

KURTZ: Why don't the media want to give him the credit?

LEWANDOSKI: Because they are a bunch of liberal individuals who wanted to see Hillary Clinton wins and what we saw was from Fox that came up 89 percent of the media coverage in the president's first 100 days was negative. They look at NBC, ABC, CBS from January 20 to April 9, 1,900 minutes of coverage. Of that 89 percent was negative. Of that, 11 percent was neutral or positive. Grace under fire. But that is how great they treated Obama and this president they don't wellant to give credit for what he has accomplished.

KURTZ: Since this bill does face a rough road in the senate, what about the media criticism that the President and the Republican were sort of spiking the football in the 50 yard line with that raised garden ceremony.

LEWANDOSKI: Why don't we give them the chance to get the bill through the senate? I think the president has the opportunity to say, look, the media has a false narrative against him. He has gotten the legislation done on the House side. It's now going to the senate side. He is going to get this bill done and he will come through and get it done.

KURTZ: Since you say the president is accusing the media false, not for the first time, all these tweets where he talks about fake news, sometimes he doesn't even describe what specific story he is objecting to. Don't you think it loses its punch saying it over and over again as opposed to reserving it for truly outrageous coverage that is unfair?

LEWANDOSKI: No. The coverage is unfair in totality. If you look at it, 97 percent of the respondents surveyed said they didn't let the media bias change their opinion on who they voted for. Fox saw 98 percent of the people who voted for Trump stand by him. He has to call them out. He has a platform which the mainstream media hates which is, social media going directly to the American people.

KURTZ: All right, this week you left the Washington firm you co-found after the election, avenue strategies. There were reports that some foreign clients were being solicited with dangling the possibility of access to President Trump possibly through you. What is behind your decision?

LEWANDOSKI: Howie you are exactly right. There were reports that said there were international companies soliciting firm. I had no knowledge of them. Anybody making promises on my behalf, so I stepped away, the great news is the economy is banging, Trump is creating jobs.

KURTZ: Were you worried that the stories about the firm that you were previously associated with were become a distraction for the White House?

LEWANDOSKI: Not so much a distraction for the White House. Let me be clear, anybody who will use my name, likeness without my knowledge is a problem and I can't a part of it. If I can help move the White House agenda forward I will be happy to do that.

KURTZ: There are whole bunch of stories fueled by leaks coming from senior White House officials. We saw this with Steve Bannon. And all these stories about how he is losing influence. But the "New York Times" piece the other day on Reince Priebus, the chief of staff, the day after the win in the House on health care describes this as less of a reprieve, less of a victory than a reprieve saying he is a gatekeeper in search of a gate. Do these leaks hurt the president?

LEWANDOSKI: Of course leaks hurt the president. There have always been leaks and will always be leaks. But it would be a nice thing to give Reince Priebus the credit he deserves for getting this legislation done on the House side. Ryan is was making phone calls and talking to members. He is on the president's agenda and any of these internal leaks. I said 100 times and I'll repeat it here. Anybody who is not on the president's agenda should not be working for the administration or the government. There is one agenda that has to move forward, and that is the president's. What we saw was Ryan Priebus on the president's agenda getting health care through congress on the House side for now.

KURTZ: there is my headline. Cory to leakers, get out. And the surprising thing was you know this was a pretty big victory for the White House and for Reince Priebus particularly who took the lead on it, usually you get that kind of story when you have done something bad and about to resign anyway, great to see you, Corey Lewandowski. Thanks for joining us from New Hampshire.

LEWANDOSKI: Thank you.

KURTZ: Coming up, Stephen Colbert using crude language to mock Donald Trump. And Jimmy Kimmel taking a swipe after doctors saves his new born baby's life. Are this late night shows anti-Trump territory?


KURTZ: Stephen Colbert is the most anti-Trump voice in late-night TV. And this week he told an outrageous joke to prompt his call for his firing.


COLBERT: You talk like a sign language gorilla who got hit in the head. In fact the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's [bleep] holster.


KURTZ: Colbert responded by the storm of criticism by saying he had no regrets.


COLBERT: I have jokes, he has the launch code. So a fair fight. So while I would do it again I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be.


KURTZ: Joining us now to talk about Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel the comedian (inaudible) Trump, in New York, Marisa Guthrie television editor for the Hollywood reporter and in here Washington, and Carley Shimkus reporter for Fox news headlines 24/7 on Sirius XM. Marisa, Stephen Colbert revised his ratings and got himself out of last place by bashing President Trump. That ugly joke was beneath him. Why couldn't he say, I'm sorry, I went over the line.

MARISA GUTHRIE, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER EDITOR: Well he said nothing is off limit when it comes to Trump. I think he knew what he was doing and I didn't like that joke either. Some of the critics of it have a point. But he has raise his ratings and his buzz by bashing doing exactly what he was doing, by bashing Trump so he is not going to apologize for it.

KURTZ: Right, Colbert is faulty guy, but I don't understand why he got to go in the gutter and Carley he actually brought back his own comedy central factor. Could he be alienating part of his audience or conservatives is just not going to watch Colbert in anyway?

CARLEY SHIMKUS, FOX NEWS 24/7 HEADLINES: The Trump bashing here is off the chart quite literally. There was a recent study that found the president has been the butt of more jokes during the first 100 days in office than the last three presidents in their first year.

KURTZ: He certainly had been the big fat target on late night.

SHIMKUS: Absolutely. Letterman even said that Johnny Carson didn't like to talk about the Vietnam War during the show, because he saw the distinction between the late night talk shows and the evening news and that distinction no longer exist and it is alienating a whole lot of people.

KURTZ: Marisa with some activist throwing out the hashtag fire Colbert, does that go too far for calling that situation.

GUTHRIE: Well, I mean look, we are at a point in our history where boycotts are called for every five minute. So they lose their impact so when somebody is always objecting to something someone is saying somewhere. Stephen Colbert is a late-night comedian. The people saying he should be fired are not his fans. So the people in his audience watching his show don't think there is anything wrong with the Trump bashing.

KURTZ: I wonder how they would act if those jokes had been told about Barack Obama. Also this week Jimmy Kimmel had a very heartfelt moment. You probably have seen it because it's been so viral. But he also injected some politics into it. Let's take a look.


JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY KIMMEL SHOW: The doctor opened his chest and fixed one of the two defects in his heart. He went in with what scalpel and did some kind of magic. He opened the valve and the operation was a success it was the longest three hours of my life.

President Trump proposed a $600 billion cut in funding to the national institute of health. Of your baby is going to die, and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make.


KURTZ: My heart goes out to Jimmy Kimmel and I hesitate to criticize him. But then in the end he brought in Trump budget cuts. Should he have blended his personal trauma with politics?

SHIMKUS: The White House responded and said they agreed with what Jimmy Kimmel is saying, the coverage of preexisting conditions. I would have to say what Kimmel did is far less egregious than the insult lobbing Colbert.

KURTZ: Kimmel is also a Trump critic. Some critics of his are saying he is rich, he is an elitist, this sort of thing doesn't affect him, why did he have to take this authentic moment and make it political, your thoughts?

GUTHRIE: I think he genuinely felt that he had an opportunity to say something. He was saying this during the week when the House was passing their second version of the American health care act which as he noted has deep cut for the national institutes for health. I think his grief and relief was genuine, but I also think he genuinely is concerned about these things. And just because he makes a lot of money and doesn't have to worry about health care doesn't mean he can't have concerns for the other people who don't.

KURTZ: that is a fair point, by the way for all the focus on the Colbert's, Bill Maher the other night, suggested incest between Donald and Ivanka Trump. The hand gesture and it hasn't gotten as much attention. Finally, Samantha Bee, just about all the late-night comedians are anti- Trump.

SHIMKUS: It's like if you don't bash the president you can't sit at the cool kid' table. Fallon is getting criticism for not making fun of the president enough. They are trying to play toward young voters who are not very fond of the president, the Millennials. But at the same time they are alienating a lot of other people. KURTZ: Right. I'm all for comedy and comedians having leeway. All right Carley Shimkus, Marisa Guthrie, thanks for joining us this Sunday, I appreciate it. After the break, President Trump says the fake media are officially out of control. What is behind that?


KURTZ: President Trump keeping up his assault on the mainstream media tweeting the other day, two minutes after the morning show came on, the fake news media is officially out of control. They will do or say anything to get attention. There has never been a time like this. We are back with Ed Henry. He didn't provide anything specific.

HENRY: He is watching the a-block of niece shows he claims he doesn't watch. He has a beef with some of this big picture coverage. You were talking about what was a major victory. He has more to come on health care. But he moves the ball forward. What is the narrative from the mainstream media? People may die waiting for coverage, because their premiums will go up so high. Wouldn't people already been dying from ObamaCare when in the state of Arizona premiums are up 160 percent? How many times have you seen that on the morning shows Howie?

KURTZ: The dying narrative has come from some in the media, particularly on the left. Let me ask you about the president fascinating interview with CBS John Dickerson, because at the end of this "Face the Nation" he called it "Deface the Nation" on the air. They got into the original tweet about where which the president said that Barack Obama had authorized wiretapping against him and it ended on quite an awkward note, let's check it out.


JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS: You are the president of the United States you said he was sickened by --

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You can take it any way you want.

DICKERSON: But I'm asking you.

TRUMP: You don't have to ask me.


TRUMP: Because I have my own opinions, you can have your opinions.

DICKERSON: But I want to know your opinions, you are the president of the United States.

TRUMP: That is enough, thank you. Thank you very much.


KURTZ: Ed what do you think of the way John Dickerson kept asking the question and seemed to get under the president's skin.

HENRY: He may have gone a little too far, I think he asked a legitimate question multiple times. The president of the United States started this whole thing by allegedly being wiretapped by President Obama. And when President Trump doesn't want to talked about and A - you started this conversation and B - rather than referring to the fake media, you are the president of the United States. I'm standing in the Oval Office. You tell me what really happened. That is a fair question from John Dickerson. And what is the White House communications staff doing if they thinks' so unfair, giving him access to the Oval Office on a show the president calls "Deface the Nation." Why did they even grant the interview then? I think John Dickerson is asking fair questions.

KURTZ: Yes he was pressing for an answer to the question that he was not getting. Amazingly we found a lot of debates this week about the civil war. It came because of comments by President Trump and the Washington Examiner. We have audio of that. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Had Andrew Jackson come later you wouldn't have had a civil war. He was a very tough person but have a big heart. And was really angry when he saw what was happening with regards to the civil war.


KURTZ: I understand the commentary (inaudible) wasn't all the media scolding and finger pointing a little over the top on this?

HENRY: I think this is a classic example where any utterance by Donald Trump becomes a national outrage. Could he have said that better? Should he have cleaned it up? Sure. But with North Korea launching missiles and all the other stories out there. The health care victory, the obsession that mainstream media has just gets ridiculous.

KURTZ: And on that note, Ed Henry good luck with 42 Fauves which you are promoting now, great to see you.

HENRY: Good to see you buddy.

KURTZ: Still to come, another big change at Fox News. And Joe reveals the worst kept secret in television.


KURTZ: In the latest change on top of Fox News Bill Shine resigned under pressure this week as the network co-president. Executive chairman Murdock describes Shine a 20 year veteran who is popular with the rank and file. He played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation's biggest and most important cable channel. After Shine pending departure came 12 days after Fox cut ties with Bill O'Reilly, following the report on five settlements of complaints alleging sexual harassment or improper conduct which O'Reilly has denied. That development shifts the spotlight to Shine, who was accused in some litigation involving O'Reilly or former Chairman Roger Aisles are either enabling or selling to act of complains about alleged misconduct. Shine has denied any wrongdoing in these instances.

The New York also announced the promotions of two Fox News veterans. Jay Wallace has tapped as president of news and Suzanne Scott as president of programming. It's unclear from the latest moves whether the Murdoch family is searching for another executive at the top of the company.


KURTZ: That television couple after months of rumors now confirmed they are a real couple. The MSNBC morning co-hosts telling "Vanity Fair" they are engaged to be married and "Saturday Night Live" having a little bit of fun with that.


ALEX MOFFAT AS JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mika, you're being dramatic. Mike Mouse, you are being a little stinker.

KATE MCKINNON AS MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I'm not being a stinker.

MOFFAT: Mika-a-boo. That is not going to work.


KURTZ: This won't stop them from having those on-air spots, will it?

That was great. Good job by "SNL."

That is it for this edition of "MediaBuzz", I am Howie Kurtz. We hope you will give our Facebook page a like, check it out, we post a lot of original content there. Let us know what you think MediaBuzz@ We'll check out your email and talk about the media. Continue the conversation on twitter @howardkurtz. Don't forget we are back here next Sunday. We will see you then 11 a.m. Eastern with the latest buzz.

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