Dan Rather slams media for acting like a ‘business partner of Donald Trump’ to boost their ratings

Dan Rather on CNN - (screen grab)

(Dan Rather on CNN – screen grab)


Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday morning, legendary newsman Dan Rather took a few shots at the political coverage of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, accusing reporters of failing to ask follow-up questions and their bosses of essentially partnering with him to boost their ratings.

“So many journalists have had to recalibrate their expectations and their understanding of politics,” host Brian Stelter asked. “What has disappointed you in the media coverage of this [Trump’s] campaign?”

“What has disappointed me most is the lack of tough questions and the tough follow-up questions,” replied Rather.

Pressed by Stelter, “You don’t think he’s been asked tough questions?” Rather said reporters let Trump slide around giving direct answers.

“Well, he handles tough questions by doing the old side shuffle most of the time. And with rare exceptions — I give Jake Tapper credit here on CNN — with rare exceptions, nobody bores in and keeps asking the tough question,” the former 60 Minutes host stated. “The other thing that’s disappointed me a bit, and I do think there’s been some media complicity in the rise of Trump. It’s not the only factor, but it has been a factor in providing him so much airtime, and in some cases being complicit in arranging that airtime.”

“For the news viewer, for the consumer of news, I think never more has it been necessary to deal with skepticism. Not cynicism, never cynicism but skepticism,” he continued. “Skepticism, saying ‘OK, Trump is on for an hour and a half on this network. Why is he there?’ The answer, of course, is because he’s very good for ratings and very good for demographics.”

Asked by the CNN host if the networks should “have some sort of blackout” of Trump, Rather disagreed.

“No, I don’t agree with that at all. Certainly show him. But the control has to stay with the journalistic entity. What I worry about is in a way that the media is a political partner, a business partner of Donald Trump,” Rather explained. “The media wants the ratings. I don’t except myself from this criticism, by the way. Media wants the ratings. Trump delivers those ratings. So in a way, they’re business partners, where the role of the journalist is to be an adversary.”




Palin: Paul Ryan’s going down

Sarah Palin

CNN Screenshot


So $arah Palin, the half-term, half-brained former governor of Alaska, went on CNN to say that House Speaker Paul Ryan is toast for not backing GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

I’m sure the House speaker is quaking in his running shoes.

“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be Cantored,” the Wasilla Hillbilly told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union, trying to give the impression that she was “in the know” by using former Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s name as a verb.

“His political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people, and as the leader of the GOP, the convention, certainly he is to remain neutral, and for him to already come out and say who he will not support is not a wise decision of his,” she said in Palin-speak.

Palin promises to work for Ryan primary opponent, Paul Nehlen, although she hasn’t bothered to tell him yet. Nehlen has endorsed Trump. (I didn’t realize it, but Wisconsin has its state primary in August, even though the presidential primary is over.) Perhaps someone should remind Caribou Barbie that Trump lost Wisconsin.

So she’s still looking for ways to remain relevant, and apparently the media are willing to give her those platforms.

Sher Watts Spooner

Obama on Trump: ‘This is not a reality show’

President Obama will be missed when his term expires…(ks)


President Obama on Friday urged the news media to closely scrutinize Donald Trump’s record and past comments, and avoid coverage that highlights “the spectacle and the circus” of the campaign trail.

Obama previewed his role as an anti-Trump spokesman and pressed the media to follow suit.
“He has a long record that needs to be examined. And I think it’s important to take seriously the statements he’s made in the past,” the president told reporters at the White House. “I just want to emphasize that we are in serious times and this is a serious job.”
Obama took a jab at Trump’s past as host of the “Apprentice” reality television series: “This is not entertainment, this is not a reality show, this is a contest for president of the United States.”
Obama made a measured and stern critique of Trump and Republicans in Congress. He refrained from commenting about Trump’s controversial tweet that showed him posing with a taco bowl to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
“I have no thoughts on Mr. Trump’s tweets,” Obama said, with a laugh. “As a general rule, I don’t pay attention to Mr. Trump’s tweets. That will be true for the next six months, so you can just file that one.”
The president indicated he’ll be playing up Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about immigrants and women to offer a contrast to voters between Trump and likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Obama said GOP voters will have to ask themselves “whether this is the guy who speaks for them and represent their values,” adding that Republican women, in particular, “are going to have to decide, ‘Is that the guy I feel comfortable with?’ ”
At the same time, Obama reiterated he’s not going to intervene in the Democratic presidential primary between Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
“On the Democratic side, let’s let the process play itself out,” he said.
But Obama also tacitly acknowledged Clinton’s big delegate lead means she is likely to become the party’s presidential nominee.
“Everybody knows what that math is,” he said.
By Jordan Fabian

The Former Apprentice Contestants Who Spoke Against Trump Met Opposition On CNN

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 10.47.00 PMCNN ScreenCap


[Recently], former Apprentice competitors joined together to publicly disavow their former boss, reality television personality Donald Trump. They were pretty harsh, in fact, so Don Lemon invited them on CNN tonight along with a former Apprentice star who supports Trump.

Before the segment began, Lemon accurately predicted that it was going to get wild, telling the audience they were gonna want to see this.

Kwame Jackson and Randal Pinkett were on hand to describe their concern over the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” character that is metastasizing in Trump, as was Andy Dean, the supporter who has been stumping for his former boss all over cable news with generally unfavorable reactions from pundits involved.

A lot happened in the two-part confrontation. Dean revealed he’s been to over 20 rallies and hasn’t seen anyone on the Trump team incite or encourage violence. Jackson and Pinkett came down on him for failing to say “person of color” when talking about diversity. They revisited how “the culture of celebrity” and “fascination with everything shiny and bright” are to blame for Trump’s rise but must be resisted.

Dean got interrupted by all three of them multiple times, but did manage to point out that while six former contestants on the show signed the letter disavowing Trump, over 200 people have competed throughout the years.


CNN Tried To Humanize Donald Trump With Town Hall And It Was A Total Disaster

CNN Tried To Humanize Donald Trump With Town Hall And It Was A Total Disaster

CNN Screenshot


CNN did their best to try to humanize Donald Trump with a New York town hall, but the result was a disaster that showed why Trump is unelectable.

CNN did their best to try to humanize Donald Trump with a New York town hall, but the result was a disaster that showed why Trump is unelectable.

The Trump family town hall on CNN began with the now standard Donald Trump whining about the delegate process, claiming that NATO was obsolete, and promising to deliver a policy speech on that hot-button issue of unity.

Anderson Cooper brought out Trump’s family and things quickly ventured into Stepford territory.

The Trump kids were full of talking points. Ivanka Trump talked about what a dealmaker her father was. Donald Trump Jr. talked about the frustration of the electorate after 2008 and 2012. Eric Trump called his dad’s campaign an amazing success story because he has only been in politics for eight months. Tiffany Trump said that her father is a hard worker. Ivanka Trump later said that the Trump family is not a family of politicians.

Eric Trump was asked about what he bonded with his father over, and he answered work. He said, “We love building. We love concrete. We love jobs.”

Ivanka Trump tried to solve her dad’s problem with female voters by saying, “I think the facts speak for themselves. I have witnessed the female role models that he has employed in the highest executive positions in the Trump organization my entire life.” Eric Trump praised his dad for being authentic and writing his own tweets.

What became obvious early on in the town hall was that for a family whose gimmick is that they are political outsiders, they were very well rehearsed on the campaign’s talking points.

The problem was that the Trump family made the creepy Romney clan of 2012 seem like the warm, friendly neighbors next door. The Trump family wants you the voter to know that they love their dad and that they think he will make America great. The Obama family has always given off a warmth in their interviews. There was no warmth to the Trump town hall.

If the purpose of the CNN town hall was to humanize Trump, it was a disaster. If this is the man that represents the Republican Party in the general election, the GOP is seriously screwed.

The fake was overwhelming during the town hall. The town hall was all about selling Trump as a president. It was impossible to find a genuine moment between Trump and his family. The Trump family gave a stump speech for Donald Trump.

CNN gave Trump a platform to show his warmer side. Instead, the Trump family tried to close the deal and sell the voters on Donald Trump as the next president.


Van Jones: ‘The Republican establishment has been completely destroyed tonight’

Van Jones speaks to ABC News



CNN Democratic strategist Van Jones declared that Donald Trump had “completely destroyed” the Republican establishment following his Tuesday night wins in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina.

Noting that Sen. Marco Rubio had dropped out on Tuesday, Jones pointed out that Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) was the final “establishment” candidate in the race.

“The Republican establishment has been completely destroyed tonight,” Jones explained. “You literally have the only establishment candidate left is Kasich with one state! His own state that he camped out in for two months!”

“It doesn’t make any sense,” the CNN analyst added. “You cannot describe the devastation this guy [Donald Trump] has wreaked on the Republican Party. The Republican establishment has been destroyed tonight. And you now have Ted Cruz, who is the ultimate outsider, against Trump. And those are the only options left that are viable.”

Republican strategist S.E. Cupp agreed that the damage was done and that “it’s only going to get worse the farther he goes.”

Watch the video below from CNN.

Donald Trump Approvingly Retweets Mussolini Quote, Refuses to Condemn KKK

Donald Trump Approvingly Retweets Mussolini Quote, Refuses to Condemn KKK

Image Credit: AP

Is Trump dumber than George W. Bush appeared to be? (ks)


The presidential campaign of Donald Trump took yet another disquieting turn this Sunday, as the Republican presidential front runner approvingly posted a Benito Mussolini quote to Twitter and refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan on national TV.

Early on Sunday morning, Trump retweeted a user named “ilduce2016” — a reference to the Italian dictator’s title — who had written “‘It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.’ — @realDonaldTrump #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.”

It later emerged “ilduce2016” is an automated bot set up by Gawker, which wrote they had registered the account “under the assumption that Trump would retweet just about anything, no matter how dubious or vile the source, as long as it sounded like praise for himself.”

On the Sunday edition of NBC News’ Meet the Press, Trump said he knew what he was doing and even praised the fascist’s word choice.

“Mussolini was Mussolini,” Trump said, reported the Hill. “It’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote. I know who said it, but what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?”

“You want to be associated with a fascist?” host Chuck Todd responded.

“No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes,” Trump retorted.

In a separate appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Trump refused to condemn former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke or the KKK itself, saying he didn’t know enough about either to pass judgment. Duke has previously endorsed Trump.

“Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Trump said, reports CNN. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists.”

Host Jake Tapper again asked Trump whether he would like to take the opportunity to disavow Duke and the KKK.

“I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about,” the candidate responded. “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I’d have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong. You may have groups in there that are totally fine — it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups and I’ll let you know.”

“OK. I’m just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here,” Tapper said.

Of course, Trump hasn’t innocently stumbled into the good will of racists. Thanks to his positions on immigration, Islam and race, Trump has earned numerous endorsements and praise from groups like the far-right American Freedom Party and the American Nazi Party.

In November, he infamously retweeted doctored statistics on black crime originating from a neo-Nazi account. A later study of his social media habits found Trump tends to retweet users who follow top white nationalist accounts or use hashtags like #WhiteGenocide.

According to Time, Trump knows very well who Duke is. In 2000, he condemned the former KKK official in a statement ending his presidential bid that year.

“The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani,” Trump said. “This is not company I wish to keep.”

Tom McKay

Watch RNC Chairman Reince Priebus SQUIRM As CNN Proves Trump Is Destroying His Party (VIDEO)


Republican National Committee chairman and anthropomorphic weasel person, Reince Priebus, joined CNN for an interview where he tried to convince Alisyn Camerota that the RNC was “in control” of Trump and Republican voters. To say it was not convincing would be an understatement.

Priebus actually thinks that the rest of America doesn’t hear his entire party railing about how bad Trump is, and how his Fascistic platform will be the doom of the GOP. Priebus responded:

“I embrace all of these candidates There folks are competing to join us. They are competing to join the Republican Party as our nominee depending on what the delegates decide to do or who wins the requisite amount of delegates. In Cleveland, we’re going to vote on the floor for who that nominee is. “That nominee joins the Republican Party. That’s what’s happening.

Priebus actually seems to think that trump is going to come to him, kiss his ring, and request his permission to be the nominee. While I can’t read Trump’s mind, I would bet hard cash that will never happen.

Camerota pointed out that there is a huge amount of the Republican establishment that has been railing against Trump, and planning what are essentially anti-Trump firewalls to halt his juggernaut-like campaign and popularity.

“But you’re making it sound simpler than, in fact, it is. Because as we have heard time and again over the past few weeks, there is a whole chunk of the Republican establishment that is not embracing Donald Trump. In fact, they’re rejecting him. We have heard about all of the big donors, all of the Republican Party elders, all of the people in Congress who are basically saying anyone but Trump.”

Camerota piled on more, reading an editorial from the Washington Post that was critical of Priebus and his apparent cowardice to stand up to Trump and his hate-fueled campaign. The reaction from Priebus was simply priceless. I’ve heard comebacks from 13-year-old schoolboys that were better.

The best part of it, though, is watching Priebus have to try to respond to the attacks calling him a powerless leader without also insulting Trump. It would be painful to watch him tie himself in knots like this, except for the fact he’s a Republican. That makes it just pure entertainment.

Watch Reince Priebus get proven to be the most impotent and powerless RNC chairman ever below:

Christian Drake

Clinton, Sanders Aim for Black Vote at CNN Town Hall

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets guests on her way off stage after participating in a Town Hall meeting hosted by CNN and moderated by Chris Cuomo at the University of South Carolina on February 23, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Scott Olson—2016 Getty Images


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made their pitches to black voters in back-to-back appearances at a town hall hosted by CNN.

Held just days before a Democratic primary in South Carolina, where the majority of the electorate in 2008 was African-American, the town hall featured a wide-ranging discussion, but the two candidates returned several times to ideas they hoped would attract black voters.

Here are five things you may have missed.

Sanders clarified his college plan. Clinton’s surrogates such as Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina have repeatedly knocked Sanders, saying his free college tuition plan would endanger historically black schools that rely on tuition. The Vermont Senator sought to put to rest criticism of his college plan by saying he would expand funding for historically black colleges and universities, something that has not previously been part of his proposal.

“We should make sure public colleges and universities are tuition-free. In addition to that we must sustain and strengthen historically black colleges and universities,” Sanders said. “We will substantially increase funding for historically black colleges and universities.”

Sanders called birthers racist. Sanders slammed Republicans for obstructionism in Congress and suggested that those who have questioned that President Obama was born in the United States are racists. “We have been dealing in the last seven years with an unprecedented level of obstructionism against President Obama.” Speaking specifically about the birther movement, Sanders said “this is a racist effort to try to delegitimize the president of the United States.”

Clinton grappled with societal racism. When a black student told Clinton that she had recently decided to wear her hair natural and had been looked at differently, Clinton was empathetic. She said white Americans have a particular duty to cross racial divides. “We have serious challenges and I think its important for people, and particularly white people, to be honest about this and our experiences may not equip us to understand what our fellow African-American citizens go through every single day,” she said.

She resisted calls to release her Wall Street transcripts. Sanders has called on Clinton to release the transcripts of her private speeches to Wall Street institutions including Goldman Sachs, as well as pharmaceutical companies. Clinton has demurred, and did again on Tuesday. “Sure, if everybody does it, and that includes the Republicans, because we know they have made a lot of speeches,” Clinton said. “Why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else?”

Clinton named her Republican friends. When Clinton was asked whether she had a Justice Anthony Scalia to her Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she named Republicans in Congress she has worked with. “I worked with Lindsey Graham to get health care for the National Guard, Clinton said. “I traveled with John McCain, who I grew to very much like and consider a friend.” She also mentioned Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. “If you don’t have those relationships, it’s really hard to get things done,” Clinton said.

Sam Frizell

Republicans Turn on Each Other in Bitter Las Vegas Debate


Donald Trump and Ted Cruz take fire from all sides

The long-coming collision inside the Republican Party erupted in a free-for-all on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, with Donald Trump facing criticism from all sides at the latest debate while fast-rising Ted Cruz found himself suddenly taking barbs from those looking to stop his momentum.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush led the criticism of Trump, the brash billionaire who has spent months atop public polling despite a string of inflammatory comments about Hispanics, women, immigrants and Muslims. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former technology executive Carly Fiorina pitched in against Trump in their final debate of 2015.

Trump, however, showed no signs of backing down from his incendiary proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States—which might be unconstitutional. Republican primary voters have rewarded Trump with steady—if not strengthened—poll numbers based on his calls against immigration.

“We are not talking about isolation. We are talking about security. We’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about security,” Trump said, defending a position that has put him at odds with many of his rivals.

It was clear Trump was not winning over his rivals, who seemed flabbergasted that they were losing to this former reality star. “Donald is great at the one-liners. But he’s a chaos candidate, and he’d be a chaos President,” Bush said.

Trump, the acerbic front-runner, was taking none of it. He fired back at Bush: “He has failed in this campaign. It has been a total disaster.” And he shook his head as others tried to offer alternatives to his proposals.

“Donald, you’re not going to be able to insult your way to the Presidency. That’s not going to happen,” Bush added later, showing a new found ability to interrupt Trump. It clearly got under his skin. “Leadership is not about attacking people and disparaging people.”

“Talking tough is not the same as being strong,” Fiorina  chimed in, casting herself as a battle-tested executive in a field of lawmakers.

And Paul, a libertarian-leaning outsider, sneered at Trump’s strength. “Is Donald Trump a serious candidate?” he asked skeptically, given the real estate developer’s proposal to kill family members of suspected terrorists. “It would defy every norm that is America,” Paul said. “Think do you believe in the Constitution? Are you going to change the Constitution?”

Trump rolled his eyes at the Constitution and international treaties to distinguish between terrorists and civilians. “I can’t imagine someone booing.”

It was one of the many intra-family subplots playing out on national television on the final Republican debate of 2015. The new front-runner in Iowa, Cruz, faced a pile-on from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and from Paul.

“It sounds like what he’s outlining is not to lead at all,” Rubio said of Cruz’s foreign policy.

Cruz disputed that and pledged to “carpet-bomb” ISIS strongholds. Rubio quickly knocked Cruz for voting against defense budgets. “You can’t carpet bomb ISIS if you don’t have planes and bombs,” Rubio said.

Cruz responded by comparing Rubio to community organizer Saul Alinsky, a boogieman for conservatives.

“Marco knows what he’s saying isn’t true,” Cruz said of Rubio’s criticism. “They are Alinsky-like attacks.” Paul added to the criticism: “Marco can’t have it both ways.”

Yet Cruz had the most to lose in the debate. About an hour into the debate, Cruz essentially hijacked the debate, refusing to yield back to the moderators. He was careful, though, not to to openly split from Trump and his divisive rhetoric against Muslims. “It’s a not a war on a faith. It’s a war on a political and theocratic ideology who seeks to murder us,” Cruz said, again reminding audiences of his talents to straddle two conflicting positions so supporters on both sides can find reasons to support him.

From the edges, struggling candidates tried to land blows amid the squabbling. “No one in America cares about this,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said of the sparring among the senators. He drew applause. “This is the difference between doing something and being one of 100 debating it. … People don’t care about that.”

Cruz entered the debate having worked for months to build a campaign that is worthy of envy. The junior Senator from Texas toiled away in rural Iowa restaurants, South Carolina churches, even an active bee farm in New Hampshire where guests were warned they might, in fact, be killed if they wandered off. Cruz lined up county chairmen in each of the first four early nominating states, something that even eventual winners of party nominations never achieve. His super PACs—yes, plural—are sitting on at least $30 million. To this point, Cruz has not incurred a single meaningful gaffe. And new polls show he’s leading in Iowa.

All of which is to say his Republican rivals were gunning for him, including his one-time best-frenemy, Trump. He entered Tuesday night’s debate on the Las Vegas Strip with all eyes on him and how he could defend his newly minted—and perhaps fragile—front-runner  status.

For months, the crowded field of Republicans has seen the top tier shift, as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson captured voters imagination only to fade and Fiorina fought her way into debates only to see voters tire of her. Bush began his campaign as the one to beat and armed with platinum-plated donors, yet his campaign has essentially to shrunk to one state: make-or-break New Hampshire. Paul started with the advantage of his father’s previous campaigns, yet those voters have moved on as the surly libertarian has shown little enjoyment in running for the White House.

Only Trump, the brash billionaire no one took seriously at the start, has proved he has staying power atop the polling heap. Yet there are signs he is starting to fade in Iowa, even as his national numbers remain strong if not growing. Perhaps sensing the shift, Trump has ended his detente with Cruz, leaning into him this weekend: “I don’t think he’s qualified to be President. … I don’t think he’s got the right judgment.”