The moment isn’t likely to generate much attention, and there’s some justification for this. After all, this particular lie isn’t very important. But it also illustrates the difficulty of covering candidate Donald Trump. It’s not that he doesn’t tell the truth. It’s that he has total disregard for the truth.
Confronted with his own words by Megyn Kelly, he stuck to his guns. Kelly knew she was right and Trump was lying. She called him on it and he repeated his lie again. But eventually she had to move on.
So too will everyone else. Such is the nature of the 2016 presidential campaign.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow co-moderated last night’sThursday night’s Democratic debate, and while she did receive praise for asking tough, substantive questions, she did receive criticism because of the very fact that she was an outspoken liberal commentator moderating a presidential debate.
On Fox News tonight, Megyn Kelly and Howard Kurtz had their doubts about Maddow’s claim she would do the same for Republicans, with Kurtz insisting “she should not have been on that stage.”
Kelly, however, pointed out that the RNC has pushed for conservative commentators to co-moderate their debates (i.e. Hugh Hewitt at the CNN GOP debates), and she made it clear Fox News rejected them outright.
However, Kelly went on to say, “I find myself in the unusual position of defending MSNBC.”
Suddenly, Donald Trump doesn’t have a problem with Megyn Kelly and he never did… he’d like you to believe. It has nothing – nothing, I tell you – to do with the fact that quitting the last Fox News debate may have cost him votes in the Iowa caucuses.
“I’ll be there. I have no objection to being there,” said Trump in an interview today with Steve Malzberg of NewsmaxTV. “That had nothing to do with Megyn Kelly, the fact that I went out of the last one. It had to do with a memo that was sent out by Fox that was a little bit taunting.” In any case, Trump expressed no regrets for having skipped out on the Jan. 28 affair, saying that he held an event to benefit veterans that raised $6 million. “So I wouldn’t have changed places.”
And for the sake of history, that Fox News statement that Trump called “taunting”? That came only after Trump had been publicly blasting Kelly and musing aloud about whether he should skip the debate.
The head of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of perpetrating a distraction by taking part in a televised town hall — one his organization did not attend, Media Matters reported.
“He doesn’t support the individual right to own a firearm. That’s been the position of his Supreme Court nominees. That’s been the position of his administration,” Chris Cox told Fox News host Megyn Kelly. “So what are we going to talk about, basketball? I’m not really interested in going over and talking to the president who doesn’t have a basic level of respect or understanding of the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners in this country.”
The president ripped Cox’s organization during the event, which was aired on CNN, pointing out to host Anderson Cooper that the NRA was invited to participate alongside other gun enthusiasts as well as gun safety advocates.
“There’s a reason that the NRA isn’t here. They’re right down the street,” Obama said, making reference to the group’s Virginia headquarters. “You think they’d be prepared to have a debate with the President.”
Cox told Kelly that the NRA refused because it was only allowed to submit one pre-screened question, as did everyone else who participated.
“This president is trying to create an illusion that he’s doing something to keep people safe,” he said. “He needs to do that because the truth is his policies have failed miserably.”
And yet here we have it: Fox’s unconditional surrender. Fox Capo Roger Ailes was forced to choose between star anchor Megyn Kelly and Trump. And he made his choice: Beg Trump for forgiveness, mend fences and welcome Trump back into the fold.
We’d seen hints of this in Trump’s claim that Ailes had called him to promise he’d get fair treatment from Fox going forward. A claim Ailes later confirmed. But now Gabriel Sherman, chronicler of all things Fox has the inside details. And like everything else that could possibly be spawned by the unholy union of Roger Ailes and Donald Trump, it’s ugly.
According to Sherman, Ailes didn’t just call Trump to get the relationship back on track. He apparently called Trump “multiple” times “begging” Trump to declare the Trump v Fox war over, which he eventually did. He offered him a full hour on Kelly’s show. Trump refused. Any other show. Trump said he’d think about it. Anything for a cessation of hostilities. But as Sherman points out, “that process has meant that Fox has had to mute its defense of Kelly, who is now watching uneasily as the Fox audience turns on her: According to one high-level source, Kelly has told Fox producers that she’s been getting death threats from Trump supporters.”
So there you have it, the fabled Fox v. Trump War lasted all of six days, just as long as the Six Day War and perhaps even more decisive of a victory for Trump.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly said Monday she will not respond to personal attacks by Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who sharply criticized her after last week’s debate.
During Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, Kelly had asked Trump to address his negative comments toward women, calling some “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” In response, Trump responded jokingly, “only Rosie O’Donnell.”
“For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell,” Kelly said during Monday’s broadcast of The Kelly File as she pressed for an answer to the question.
“I felt he was asked a tough but fair question,” Kelly said. “We agree to disagree.”
Following the debate, Trump said he felt the moderators’ questions were “not nice,” and that Kelly in particular treated him poorly. He went on to tweet and retweet rants about Kelly that called her a “bimbo,” overrated, and angry.
His criticism reached a fever pitch Friday in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, in which he said Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
The candidate on Saturday tweeted he meant to say she had blood coming out of her nose, though the remark was taken by many to be a reference to menstruation. In response, Trump’s top adviser parted ways with the businessman, and Trump was also disinvited from the conservative RedState gathering in Atlanta.
Kelly said Monday she had decided not to respond to the personal attacks.
“I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism,” she continued. “So I’ll continue doing my job without fear or favor. And Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign so far.”
The Fox News talking head offers a head-scratching take on Sandra Bland, while the Donald declares his fascism
1. Donald Trump takes his fascist tendencies out for a spin.
For such a huge bully, Donald Trump sure is a whiny thing. On the one hand, he — much like the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction — will not be ignored (see next item). On the other hand, he does not like when people say mean things about him. Whah whah whah.
The blowhard Republican frontrunner had a little hissy fit this week after the Des Moines Register published an editorial suggesting he should quit running for president. The piece also called Trump a “bloviating sideshow.” Trump did not mind the “bloviating” part because he’s not entirely sure what the word means. But a sideshow? How dare they. Everybody knows Trump is the whole show, the only show in town and the greatest show on earth. And did they mention he is very very rich?
Trump has not felt so miffed since Forbes wrote an article saying tht he was not nearly as rich as he claimed to be some years ago. Well, he was pretty miffed on Monday when “Morning Joe” talked about other candidates besides Trump (again, see next item). And he was miffed when John McCain made fun of him. So, yeah, scratch that. He is often miffed.
In response to the editorial, Trump did what any reasonable, American-democracy-free-speech-loving demagogue would do. He banned that mean old newspaper from his event in Iowa. So there.
More of the editorial that stuck in The Donald’s craw:
“By using his considerable wealth, his celebrity status, and his mouth to draw attention to himself, rather than to raise awareness of the issues facing America, he has coarsened our political dialogue and cheapened the electoral process….He has become ‘the distraction with traction’ — a feckless blowhard who can generate headlines, name recognition and polling numbers not by provoking thought, but by provoking outrage.”
Nice. Distraction with traction. Might have to steal that.
After the editorial, Trump issued a statement condemning the paper’s “dishonest reporting,” demonstrating, among other things, that he cannot tell the difference between editorializing and reporting.
And also that he is a total chump. A chump with some fascist tendencies, to boot.
2. Donald Trump whines to ‘Morning Joe’ about not getting enough attention. ‘Morning Joe’ laughs and laughs and laughs.
“Morning Joe” got his morning laugh this week, courtesy of The Donald, who was interviewed on the show.
“I was just listening to you,” Trump said, after being introduced, “and I was listening to you talking about [Jeb] Bush and [Marco] Rubio and a couple of others and you sort of forgot to mention my name even though I’m creaming them all in the polls. I don’t understand what you’re doing.”
Scarborough guffawed, “Donald, what are you talking about? What are you talking about? We’ve been talking about you for a week. What are you talking about?”
Yeah, but you also talked about other people, Trump replied. And that’s not okay with me. “You were talking about [John] Kasich and you mentioned Bush and Rubio and somebody else that I won’t mention because I actually like that person,” Trump replied. When Trump is king, errr, president, people will only talk about people he wants to talk about.
Scarborough remained flabbergasted, and struggled to find a different question to ask. “What are you talking about?” he said again. “What are you talking about, Donald? How thin is your skin? I’ve been talking about you for a week.”
Trump, as is now well known, never backs down, no matter how trivial the fight. “When you were talking about Bush who, by the way, is about ten points lower than me, you sort of mentioned like, you know, ‘Can Kasich beat Bush?’” he whined. “Well, you know, excuse me, what about Trump? I mean, you know, we are ten points ahead.”
And also, he is very very rich. Did he mention that? And not a loser, like all those other losers. Losers!
3. Important political thinker Dennis Rodman is all in for Donald Trump.
Turns out North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump have something in common, other than laughable hairdos. Dennis Rodman is a big fan of both of them.
Rodman tweeted his valuable support for Trump this week.
Click to enlarge.
The Trumpster appreciated that very much and tweeted back the love. He loves anyone who loves him. And hates anyone who hates him, and resents anyone who doesn’t talk about him enough, and bans anyone who criticizes him. All of these things could also be said of Kim Jong-un.
4. Megyn Kelly really needs to shut up, about pretty much everything.
Another week, another opportunity to be offensively wrong-headed about major news events. Fox darling Megyn Kelly’s “The Kelly File” this week was stuffed full of those moments.
Earlier in the week, Kelly discussed the video of the arrest of Sandra Bland, the woman who was pulled over in Texas for not signaling while black, and arrested for smoking a cigarette while black. Sure enough, Kelly found a way to blame Bland for her own arrest, brutalization and ultimate death.
“Even if you know the cop is wrong, comply and complain later,” she advised, leaving out the more valuable piece of advice, which is to always be white, especially when quarreling with a police officer. Frequent guest, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who comes in handy whenever you need a black man to blame other blacks for their assault and death at the hands of police officers, also offered some sparkling commentary. He did not like Sandra Bland’s language, young lady. Such language would have embarrassed him if he had been Bland’s father. No word on whether the trooper who pulled Bland over and threatened to “light her up” with his taser, would have made Clarke a proud papa, had he been his son.
Later in the week, Kelly was talking to a Lafayette, Louisiana police sergeant about the horrific shooting at the movie theater there. The shooter was, at this point, identified as an older white man. “Any reason to believe there might be a connection to ISIS, or radical Islam, or terror as we understand it in this country?” Kelly asked, headscratchingly. She had to ask that nonsensical question. She just had to. She is required by FoxNews law.
Seriously, can we just dispense entirely with the notion that Kelly is the smart one over there?
5. Scott Walker is a walking, talking ALEC talking point.
Scott Walker has many friends at the American Legislative Exchange Council because he agrees with the arch-right-wing lobbying group about absolutely everything. It’s almost as if it simply transplanted all of its ideas directly into his head. Hmmmm. Maybe it did. Either that or he has simply plagiarized all of ALEC’s ideas—like destroying what little is left of unions, starving schools of money, waging war on women’s reproductive rights, keeping people in prison as long as possible, and making it really hard for people to vote.
It was time for Walker to indulge in a little brag-fest at ALEC’s annual meeting this week in San Diego.
“We took on the unions,” he said. “We passed … regulatory reform. We defunded Planned Parenthood and passed pro-life legislation. We passed castle doctrine and concealed carry — so law-abiding citizens can protect themselves and their famil[ies], and their property. And I’m proud to say in our state, as blue as it is, our state now says it’s easy to vote but hard to cheat — you need a photo ID to vote.”
The audience lapped it up. It was a major oozing lovefest. Seriously, get a room.
Walker then criticized President Obama for espousing the view that climate change is a major threat to future generations, which is ridiculous, of course. Everyone knows climate change is a threat to generations right here, right now.
6. Bobby Jindal does not think a mass shooting should be used as an excuse to talk about gun control.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who thankfully has suspended his run for president, freeing up his seat in the Republican clown car for some perhaps bigger clown, does not want to talk about guns. Some innocent people watching a movie were just gunned down in his state by a right-wing extremist who expressed his hatred for feminists and liberals—but why should that occasion a discussion about how obscenely easy it is to get guns in this country? What do you want to do? Prevent more tragedies or something?
“We are less than 24 hours out, we’ve got two families that need to bury their loved ones. We’ve got families waiting for their loved ones to leave the hospital and are praying for their recovery,” Jindal said at a press conference Friday. “There will be an absolute appropriate time for us to talk about policies and politics, and I’m sure that folks will want to score political points off this tragedy, as they’ve tried to do on previous tragedies.”
Hmmm, political points. Is that what they’re calling keeping guns out of the hands of mass killers and toddlers these days?
Jindal told reporters he might be happy to discuss gun policy later. How about never? he asked. Is never good for you?
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Thursday offered yet another answer on the Iraq war saying that, given what he knows now, he would not have authorized an invasion of Iraq.
Those comments strongly contrast ones he made on Monday to Fox’s Megyn Kelly when he saidhe would have authorized an invasion. A day later, he backtracked, saying he misheard the question and did not know what he would have done. On Wednesday, Bush said he refused to answer as it would be a disservice to American troops.
But at an event in Tempe, Arizona, on Thursday, Bush gave yet another answer.
“I would have not engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq,” Bush said.
Bush’s initial comments sparked criticism from likely and declared 2016 candidates. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who’s strongly hinted at a White House bid, said he would not have gone into Iraq given what we know today. Declared candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said “of course not” when asked the question.
After two gunmen were shot dead on Sunday while attempting to storm an event celebrating cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, many of the nation’s prominent talking heads felt compelled to take a side on the work of anti-Islam activist and conspiracy theorist Pam Geller.
For many on the right, this was a no brainer: pundits at Fox News and National Review, as well as blogs like RedState and Hot Air, defended Geller’s event and slammed liberals for supposedly blaming the victim. At best, she was a courageous free speech activist; at worst, a “provocateur.”
For her part, Geller has repeatedly called out “the Left” for caving in to “savages” on the issue of free speech.
But several high profile conservatives have made it clear they don’t think too much of her cartoon contest, either.
Here are seven of the more prominent — and surprising — examples:
Fox News may be giving Geller more airtime than any other cable news channel in the aftermath of the attack, but not every host considers her a free speech hero like Sean Hannity does.
“It’s always cause and effect,” O’Reilly said. “This is what happens when you light the fuse; you get violence.”
“You sound like you are defending, you are attacking the event itself,” Kelly said.
“No I’m not. I would do it another way,” O’Reilly said.
Geller may hold the distinction of being the only person to unite the one-man Catholic League, Bill Donahue, with any secular liberal, on any issue. But Monday night, he took to the airwaves on the Fox News show “Your World with Neil Cavuto” and condemned her cartoon contest unequivocally.
“When you embolden people, when you empower people, the haters, you’re going to get violence,” Donohue said. “And so why would anybody who’s morally responsibly want to intentionally incite other people?”
“We live in a sick society that some people think it’s good to taunt other people,” he added.
The most straightforward condemnation of Geller came from reality TV star, real estate mogul and wannabe presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“Nobody would fight harder for free speech than me but why taunt, over and over again, in order to provoke possible death to audience,” he tweeted on Monday. “DUMB!”
He also complained about it on “Fox & Friends” and suggested Geller draw something else besides Muhammad.
Geller was asked about Trump’s remarks on Fox; she complained that the Donald “flaps his tongue” too much.
MacCallum, who had been nodding along with Geller during earlier portions of the interview, wouldn’t have it.
“No, no, no, where are you getting the Rosa Parks comparison?” MacCallum said. She brought up Donohue and even the Pope, saying, “if you want to make a difference, you do it in a Christian way, you don’t do it in a crass way by insulting someone’s religion.”
By the end of the segment, MacCallum told Geller, “I get where you are coming from. I’m not sure you went about it the right way.”
“As a Christian, I don’t like it when people mock my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and what this event in Garland, Texas, was doing was mocking the Muslims,” he said Wednesday during an interview on Fox. “And I disagree with Islam, I don’t believe in Islam, but I’m not going to mock them and make fun of them.”
“Yes, of course, there is a First Amendment right and of course it’s very important. But the exercise of that right includes using good judgement,” Van Susteren said on Tuesday evening.
Van Susteren said that “everyone” knew the event would become violent, and that Geller went ahead and put police in jeopardy anyway.
“Was it fair to the police, to knowingly put them at risk by this unnecessary provocation?” she asked. “I say no.”
“There are a lot of things that we can say, that we have a right to say, that we shouldn’t say,”Ingraham told O’Reilly on Tuesday night’s episode of the “The O’Reilly Factor.” “We shouldn’t unnecessarily insult people, personal attacks.”
“To do what was done at this convention,” she said, “it not only doesn’t accomplish anything, I think it could actually make things worse for us.”
Ingraham appeared to realize she was breaking with many on the right over Geller’s antics.
“And I know conservatives watching this across the country are like, ‘I can’t believe Ingraham is coddling the Islamists!’” she said. “No I’m not.”
A debate on vaccines has infected the nascent 2016 Republican presidential primary. Rand Paul, for example, said that the right of parents to refuse vaccines is “an issue of freedom.” To bolster his point, he claimed that vaccines can give children “profound mental disorders,” and idea that is completely unsupported by medical literature.
Similarly, Chris Christie framed the vaccination issue as a matter of “parental choice.” (Faced with mounting criticism, Christie later backtracked partially, saying only some vaccines should be optional.)
Monday night on Fox News, Megyn Kelly provided the antidote. Appearing on The O’Reilly Factor, Kelly spoke out forcefully for mandatory vaccines. (O’Reilly agreed.) Speaking directly into the camera, Kelly said, “I want to say on the record, I have three children under the age of six. I vaccinated all of them. On time. As the doctor prescribed. Nothing was delayed.” She noted that the science showing vaccinations are safe and beneficial for children is “very certain today.”
Kelly predicted the issue would continue to play a role in the Republican presidential primary because it had become about “Big Brother.” “On the other hand, some things do require some involvement of Big Brother,” Kelly said.
Kelly may want to have a conversation with her colleague, Sean Hannity. On his program Monday, Hannity said that “parents should have the choice” on whether to vaccinate their children. Hannity featured commentary from Dr. Eric Braverman who told millions of views that “no one” is giving their children the full course of vaccine shots. According to Braverman there is an “overreliance” on vaccines to prevent disease.
The segment featured more medically accurate commentary from Dr. Marc Siegel, who accused Braverman of perpetrating a “bait and switch.” Even Siegel, however, opposed mandatory vaccinations. Braverman concluded the segment by claiming that vaccines “don’t always work” and attributing the measles outbreak in Disneyland to the combination of heat and junk food.